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Plasterers apply and fix internal plaster linings of buildings.

Tasks and tools used

  • measuring walls to determine plaster layout
  • measuring, marking and cutting plasterboard to size
  • cutting access to window holes, installing insulation, applying adhesive fastener to wall structures
  • lifting, carrying and positioning plasterboard and fastening to walls, battens or ceilings using nails or screws
  • may also fit cornice, mouldings and ceiling centre pieces
  • fill joins and screw holes with sealing compound which is mixed onsite in 15kg buckets with a power mixer
  • sand surfaces using sand paper or power sanders
  • plasterboard sheets vary in size up to 6m lengths and up to 16mm thick and weigh up to 50kg
  • larger sheets are typically handled by 2 workers and lifted from floor to overhead positions
  • ladders and working platforms may need to be used
  • hand tools such as Stanley knives, hammers, tape measures, levels, hand trowels, sanding blocks, hand saws and screw drivers are used
  • access to site may involve the use of stairs typically in indoor settings.

Personal protective equipment

  • gloves
  • hard hat
  • mask
  • visibility vest
  • trousers
  • safety boots
  • ear muffs/plugs
  • safety glasses
  • sunscreen.
Critical job demand descriptor% of time the task is performedTask


  • standing
  • gripping of objects

34% - 66%

  • reaching overhead
  • lifting of objects weighing up to 25kg (50kg between 2 workers) between floor and  overhead
  • frequent carrying of objects weighing up to 25kg

5% - 33%

  • use of ladders
  • periods of repetitive hand and arm movements
  • operation of machinery

Suitable duties

  • goals must be clear, realistic and achievable
  • must have 'buy-in' from the worker
  • worker helps to set the goals, and must be answerable if goals are not met (this allows barriers to RTW to be identified at an early stage and obstacles overcome)
  • workers need to understand they have an obligation to participate in rehabilitation and RTW as per Section 232 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act).

Plasterer return to work suggestions

Worker can begin with light duties and include more tasks as their capacity for work changes. We'll work with all parties, including the treating medical provider, employer and worker to ensure everyone is aware of where the worker is with their rehabilitation and stay at, or return to work.

Note: some tasks are dependent on worker's injury and capacity, and some tasks may require the assistance of a co-worker.

Host employment

In the event an employer is unable to provide suitable duties, a host placement may be required. If this is the case, the worker may be placed at a different employer in a graduated return to work plan until they're able to 'upgrade' back to his/her pre-injury role with their pre-injury employer.

WorkCover Queensland's Recover at work program places injured workers in short term host employment with employers who have an established track record of successful return to work outcomes with their own workers.

More return to work resources