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Safe handling of patients

28 April 2015
In April 2014, the New York State legislature in the US enacted the “Safe Patient Handling Act” that is now in the process of implementation. It is the 9th US state to enact such a law

The most frequent and costly workplace injuries occur among health care workers when they lift, reposition and transfer patients and residents, and NYCOSH reports that according to the US National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, there is no safe way to manually lift a patient over 35 pounds (16 kilograms), yet direct care frontline health care workers will manually lift 1.8 tons (1,633 kilograms) on average during an 8-hour shift.   

As the implementation phase proceeds along defined and timed stages, NYCOSH is ensuring that healthcare workers, their unions, employers and patient advocates are knowledgeable about the various provisions of the law, which include the requirement that healthcare facilities set up labour-management committees and develop policies that mandate the use of mechanical and other assistive devices to move and reposition patients and/or clients.

 

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