Safe Patient Handling Legislation
Musculoskeletal injuries continue as a major concern among healthcare professionals. The rates of injuries published by the Bureau of Labor are worth reviewing:
- The overexertion injury rate for hospital workers are twice the average compared to all industries (76 per 10,000).
- The overexertion injury rate for nursing home workers is three times greater than all industries (132 per 10,000).
- The overexertion injury rate for ambulance workers is six times greater than all industries (238 per 10,000).
- Rising obesity rates in the United States further increases the physical demands on caregivers.
- Aging care givers in the workforce are less resilient to the physical demands of manually handling patient.
- Manual patient handling is mostly performed by nurses and support staff such as nursing aides and orderlies.
- The demands placed on nurses are increased by an ongoing nursing shortage, which is projected to reach 260,000 unfilled nursing positions by 2025.
THE SINGE GREATEST RISK FACTOR FOR OVEREXERTION INJURIES IN HEALTHCARE WORKERS IS THE MANUAL LIFTING, MOVING, AND REPOSITIONING OF PATIENTS, RESIDENTS, OR CLIENTS!
As the more States, professional organizations, industry, and academia recognize that “safe patient handling” in health care settings is paramount in minimizing musculoskeletal injuries to care givers, more legislation is being enacted. The following states have passed or signed into law such legislation:
|California||Labor Code Section 6403.5||
October 7, 2011
|Illinois||Public Act 97-0122||
July 30, 2011
|Rhode Island||House 7386 and Senate 2760||
July 7, 2006
|Hawaii||House Concurrent Resolution No. 16||
April 24, 2006
|Washington||House Bill 1672||
March 22, 2006
|Ohio||House Bill 67, Section 4121.48||
March 21, 2006
|New York||companion bills A11484, A07836, S05116, & S08358||
October 18, 2005
|Texas||Senate Bill 1525||
June 17, 2005
To date, no federal safe patient handling law has been enacted. The most recently introduced federal bill is the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2480 ) and see for reference http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/safepatient/.
The ResQUp™ is an important safe patient handling tool for assisting non-injured individuals who have fallen and require mild-to-moderate assistance getting up from the floor. Even so, more safe patient handling tools are needed to protect care givers in all health care-related settings.