As a matter of workers’ compensation, making sure workers don’t get hurt is important. By promoting safety in the workplace, workers don’t need to suffer unnecessary injuries and employers don’t need to have higher penalties or insurance coverage costs. There are often ways to reduce injuries on the job, and one way hospitals and medical clinics are trying to help is by installing ceiling-mounted lifts that would allow nurses to move patients more easily. Presently, these nurses are forced to move patients by hand, which can be dangerous, especially when patients are particularly heavy or awkward to move.
A woman working at Affinity Medical Center in Ohio tore a muscle in her upper back while moving a patient into a chair. The surgery performed to fix the tear was complicated, and she was not able to return to work. The hospital has 156 beds and only two mobile patient lifts; the woman claimed she didn’t know they were available to help move her patient, so she did what she had to do to move him.
This situation is not uncommon, and the lack of use the lifts receive is part of the reason why health care workers have high rates of occupational musculoskeletal injuries. Out of every 10,000 full-time hospital workers, around 75 lift-related injuries happen each year. There are around 107 injuries for every 10,000 workers in a nursing home or residential home setting.
By mounting helpful equipment in the room, safety can be a priority. Easy access to the machinery is important, allowing nurses to use the machinery whenever necessary, not only when it’s available.
Source: Modern Healthcare, “Taking a load off nurses: Hospitals eye installing patient lifts but face technical, cost challenges,” Adam Rubenfire, June 27, 2015