Current Research

Evaluation of the Best Built Plans Manual Material Handling Tool for Construction

Ann Marie Dale

Washington University in St. Louis

Bradley Evanoff

Washington University in St. Louis


Construction workers continue to suffer from high rates of chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), typically from overexertion, lifting, and manual material handling (MMH).  Although there are many simple ways to prevent these injuries, contractors often lack the knowledge and resources to implement them.  This project is assessing the Best Built Plans (BBP) program, which aims to increase use of safe MMH practices by offering firms ready-to-use resources.  It will enroll three types of small and medium-sized contractors – commercial, light commercial and residential — and firms from trades with high rates of lost days from lifting materials, such as iron workers and drywall installers. The project will measure the uptake of BBP tools and the reduction of physical exposures from lifting, as well as collecting feedback on what has proven useful.