Clinical and economic evidence

Studies have shown that the use of appropriate equipment greatly reduces musculoskeletal strain and the risk of injury.

Safe Patient Program

Among healthcare personnel, greater risk of musculoskeletal injury is associated with higher job strain, more frequent patient handling, previous musculoskeletal symptoms, and lack of lifting devices. The daily number of patient handling tasks provides the most direct measure for assessing the risk of back pain. (Thomas 2009; Collins 2011)

A study of musculoskeletal injuries, work related claims over seven years (1997‐2003), reported that 40% of injuries due to lifting or transferring patients might have been prevented by using lifts. (Pompeii et al 2009)

35 lbs. is the maximum weight limit for manual lifting

A paper by Waters reviewed the Lifting Equation (NIOSH), an ergonomics assessment tool that is used to recommend weight limit for two-handed manual-lifting tasks. The revised equation yields a recommended 35 lbs. maximum weight limit for use in patient handling tasks. This is used as a base for most patient handling guidelines. Studies have shown that the use of appropriate equipment greatly reduces musculoskeletal strain and the risk of injury. When using fully loaded patient lifting equipment, the required push and pull forces were generally acceptable to 90% of the female population. (Waters 2007; Rice 2009)

Positive cost-benefit reduction in implementing a Safe Patient Handling Program

A number of studies have shown significant reduction and positive cost-benefit reduction in implementing safe patient handling programs, including patient lifting devices and associated training. (Nelson 2008; Tomas 2009; Black 2011, Lilpscomb 2012)