Musculoskeletal disorders Health care/social assistance

American Nurses Association urges action on safe patient-lifting legislation

Washington – Comprehensive safe patient-handling and mobility programs can decrease staff injuries and increase patient safety by nearly 95 percent, the American Nurses Association told congressional staff members May 28.

The ANA-sponsored Capitol Hill briefing featured Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) pushing legislation that would require the use of engineering and safety controls to perform patient handling. The mandate would help eliminate common injuries nurses and health care workers experience in the manual handling of patients, bill proponents say.

Registered nurses had the fifth most days away from work due to musculoskeletal disorders among all occupations in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Incorporated into the legislation are ANA standards on creating, implementing and managing a safe patient-handling and mobility program.

The bill, sponsored by Conyers, was introduced last summer. At press time, it was in the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee.