Tool for Drilling Ceiling Anchor Holes

The Problem

  • Drilling holes in ceilings requires working on ladders or elevated work platforms.
  • The work involves repeated forceful exertions while working above the shoulder.
  • This task can be repeated hundreds of times throughout the work day.
  • Drilling anchor holes may lead to fatigue and increases the risk of overall neck, shoulder, arm, and hand injuries such as tendonitis, bursitis, and rotator cuff syndrome.
  • The vibration transmitted from the drill to workers’ hands, arms, and shoulders may further increase the risk on

One Solution

  • Overhead work can be reduces with the drill jack, which is a foot-actuated, telescopic too for drilling ceiling holes for anchors.

How It Works

  • The telescoping drill jack, attached to a hammer rill, is positioned directly below the drill location.
  • By pressing a foot lever and simultaneously depressing the trigger, the drill jack forces the attached hammer drill into the ceiling to the required anchor depth.
  • Overhead drilling, prolonged awkward static postures, handling of the heavy hammer drill, forceful exertions, and working on an elevated work platform are reduced.


  • Compared to the traditional method of drilling holes, this tool reduces a number of ergonomic risk factors such as repeated, overhead, forceful upper limb exertions.
  • Workers have less chance of developing neck, shoulder, arm, and hand injuries because the arms are kept below the shoulders and muscle forces/vibration exposure are reduced.
  • Using the drill jack also increases the distance between the worker’s eyes and face from the drill site which is a source of concrete dust and debris.
  • In addition to these benefits, because the tool is used while the worker stands on the ground beneath the anchoring site, the use and handling of ladders, scaffolding, and other elevated work platforms is entirely eliminated.
  • Productivity may improve because there are no ladders, scaffolds, or lifts needed.

For More Information

This information is adapted from Extension Poles for Powder-Actuated Tools Tip Sheet, which we would like to give credit to the following: Albers, James T., and Estill, Cheryl F. (2007) Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Construction Workers. DHHS, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication Number 2007-122. The information was used as part of a project “Kramer, D., Bigelow, P., Vi, P., Garritano, E., Wells, R. Encouraging construction companies to adopt innovations to reduce MSDs using different knowledge transfer techniques. 2008-2011. Workplace Safety and insurance Board (Ontario)”. In partnership with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association of Ontario and CRE-MSD.


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