Ergonomics Worker health and wellness Injury prevention Musculoskeletal disorders Health care/social assistance

Nurses association releases safe patient handling guidelines

Silver Spring, MD – The American Nurses Association on June 26 released a set of voluntary standards for the development of safe patient lifting programs to help reduce the risk of injury among health care workers.

Safe Patient Handling and Mobility: Interprofessional National Standards are intended for health care settings in which patients need help with mobility, including rehabilitation, home care, hospice care, and physical and occupational therapy.

The rules outline how to create a sustainable safe patient handling and mobility program, incorporate ergonomic design, and develop a technology plan in an effort to improve patient outcomes and reduce musculoskeletal disorders among workers.

Nursing assistants and registered nurses ranked No. 1 and No. 5, respectively, among all occupations for injuries and illnesses related to musculoskeletal disorders requiring days away from work in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.