Injuries in caregivers are a major issue, and every time a patient needs to be lifted or transferred, such injuries are possible. The New York State Zero Lift Task Force was created in 2005 to make environments safer for both patients and caregivers. If you’re not yet familiar with the Task Force, here’s what you need to know.
About the New York State Zero Lift Task Force
The Task Force’s mission is “to create a safe environment for patients and healthcare workers by eliminating strenuous manual lifting tasks involved in transferring and repositioning patients, thus improving the physical well-being of health care workers, significantly reducing negative patient outcomes, improving the financial strength of the health care industry by significantly reducing workers compensation costs, and retaining and recruiting qualified staff.”
The Task Force is made up of healthcare workers, administrators, patient advocates, union representatives, and safety and health professionals. They work together to ensure the health and safety of both patients and health care workers in New York State.
The Risks of Patient Handling
According to the Task Force, people who work in healthcare-related professions have more musculoskeletal disorders than people in any other occupation. In 2011, 58,860 work-related injuries were recorded by U.S. hospitals, and 48% of those injuries were caused by overexertion when manually handling patients. In addition to being dangerous for the caregiver, manual lifting poses the risk of falls, fractures, skin tears, and bruises for the patient.
About the New York Safe Patient Handling Act
The New York Safe Patient Handling Act was passed in April of 2014 to ensure that professional healthcare facilities have safe handling policies in place. The Act requires covered healthcare facilities to establish safe patient handling committees by January 1, 2016. Additionally, each facility must establish a Safe Patient Handling Program by January of 2017.
Making Your Facility Safer
Regardless of whether your facility is located in New York State, the Task Force website can be an excellent resource of information and advice on safe handling procedures.
Having proper equipment in your facility or home is an essential step in helping to keep your patients and staff safe. Patient lifts
are essential equipment to have, and at Med Mart we’re happy to help you select the equipment that is just right for your needs.