California governor signs patient-lifting law

Sacramento, CA – A new California law requires general acute care hospitals to develop a safe patient handling policy to help prevent injuries among health care workers.

Under the Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act (AB 1136), signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Oct. 7, hospitals must adopt a plan to prevent back injuries among workers and cannot discipline employees who refuse to lift or transfer a patient because of personal safety concerns.

The law amends the California Occupational Safety and Health Act and also requires employers to provide lift training and lift teams composed of staff trained in proper lifting techniques.

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