We have compiled a non-comprehensive list of helpful websites and resources from others who have been through the process of developing safe patient handling programs, conducting safe patient handling assessments, and performing safe patient handling program evaluations.
Developing a Safe Patient Handling Program
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): Slideshow, “Review of Safe Patient Handling and Movement Principles”: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/review/public/safe-patient/
This draft presentation was developed by NIOSH, American Nurses Association and the Veteran's Health Administration's Patient Safety Center for use in training by schools of nursing.
Californian Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA): "A Back Injury Prevention Guide For Health Care Providers"
Highlights: Useful information for training the Safe Patient Handling Committee, assessing the risks and needs and planning for equipment acquisition.
Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in British Columbia (OHSAH) Literature. OHSAH, 1998-2010, was a occupational health and safety agency with the goal of reducing workplace injuries and illnesses in healthcare workers.
de Castro, A.B. (September 30, 2004). "Handle With Care: The American Nurses Association’s Campaign to Address Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders " Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol. #9 No. #3:
Highlights: Useful information for training the Safe Patient Handling Committee
Interior Health Authority of BC: “A Practical Guide to Resident Handling”
Highlights: Useful information for training the Safe Patient Handling Committee and writing a safe patient handling policy (page 13).
New South Wales Department of Health: “Policy and Best Practice Guidelines for the Prevention of Manual Handling Incidents in New South Wales Health”
Highlights: Useful information for training the Safe Patient Handling Committee, assessing risk and needs and planning for the acquisition of equipment. See pg.56 for a list of patient moving aids.
Patient Safety Center of Inquiry (Tampa, FL), Veteran’s Health Administration and Department of Defense: “Annex Patient Care Ergonomics Resource Guide: Safe Patient Handling and Movement” (Part 1) and (Part 2)
Klass, Hillarie: Getting to a Zero Lift Policy, October 2001. The Safe Angle, 3(3), pp. 2-3.
Washington State Safe Patient Handling Steering Committee:
Safe Patient Handling in Washington Hospitals: Your guide to a safe healthcare environment.
A webcast presentation was developed to help hospitals understand the requirements of the new law and provide information establishing a safe patient handling environment.
Assessing the Risks and Needs
WorkSafe BC: "Handle With Care, Patient Handling and the Application of Ergonomics Requirements"
Ontario Safety Association for Community & Healthcare (OSACH), “A Planning Guide for the Implementation of Client Mechanical Lifts”
Highlights: See Appendices B, C-H for needs assessment tools
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH): The ACGIH Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for Lifting.
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) is a private, not-for-profit association dedicated to promoting health and safety in the workplace. The Lifting TLV tables, based on the frequency and duration, have been developed as guidelines to assist in the control of lifting hazards associated with work-related low back and shoulder disorders. The ACGIH Statement of Position Regarding the TLVs and BEIs provides information on the proper use of the TLVs.
NOTE: These tables were not developed specifically for lifting patients but may provide guidance.
Safe Patient Handling Equipment
WorkSafe BC: Selection and maintenance resources for patient handling equipment.
1. Transfer Assist Devices for Safer Handling of Patients: A Guide for Selection and Safe Use
2. Properly Install, Inspect, and Load-Test Overhead Patient/Resident Track Lifts
- Ceiling Lift Program Guide: Provides reference materials and tools to assist in the implementation of a ceiling lift program. OHSAH_Ceiling_Lift_Program_Guide.pdf
- Implementing Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Programs (MSIP) in Healthcare: Provides info on MSIs and how to develop and implement a program that will help prevent MSIs in the workplace. OHSAH_MSIP_Program.pdf
- The Ceiling Lift Project at St. Joseph’s General Hospital: Follow Up Evaluation August 2002
A follow-up evaluation to one completed in 2000 to better understand the long term effects of ceiling lifts. St.Joseph.Ceiling_Lift_Project.pdf
Interior Health Authority of BC: “Ceiling Lift Track Implementation Manual”
VISN 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry in Tampa or of the Veterans Health Administration: Technology Resource Guide
Contains an unendorsed list of different types of lifting devices and various manufacturers that carried the patient lift equipment at one point in time.
Evaluation of Safe Patient Handling Programs
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and the Lifting in Health Care Task Force.
A report presented to the Washington State Legislature House Commerce and Labor Committee, examining the lifting programs and policies in the health care industry in Washington State.
The Final Report:
Lifting Patients/Residents/Clients in Health Care, Washington State 2005, Final Report.
Lifting Patients/Residents/Clients in Health Care, Washington State 2005, Appendices.
Nelson, A. & Baptiste, A. (September 30, 2004): "Evidence-Based Practices for Safe Patient Handling and Movement"; Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Vol. #9 No. 3.
Highlights: Information on Safe Patient Handling Committee training and risk/needs assessment.
Whitepaper on Strategies to Improve Patient and Health Care Provider Safety in Patient Handling and Moving Tasks.
A collaborative effort of the American Physical Therapy Association, Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, and Veteran’s Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA: “HealthCare Wide Hazards Module” http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/hospital/hazards/ergo/ergo.html
Highlights: Useful information regarding training the Safe Patient Handling Committee and planning for the acquisition of equipment.
We want to hear from you!
This website is maintained by volunteer members of Washington's Safe Patient Handling Steering Committee. We need your help to make sure it is current and contains all necessary information.
If you know of any resources that should be added to the site please email them to the committee. Also, if your hospital has developed any safe patient handling tools or processes that could benefit others trying to get started, we'd like to post it on the website. Please email these resources as well as any questions you may have to the safe patient handling committee: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions or comments about this site please contact Washington's Safe Patient Handling Steering Committee at