Reducing back stress to nursing personnel: an ergonomic intervention in a nursing home.
Ergonomics 1992 Nov; 35(11):1353-1375
The effectiveness of an ergonomic approach in reducing back stress to nursing personnel was investigated. The study was conducted in two units of a nursing care facility owned and managed by county government. There were 140 patients and 57 nursing assistants in the two units. The program involved: determining patient handling tasks perceived to be most stressful by the nursing assistants; performing an ergonomic evaluation of these tasks; and conducting a laboratory study to select patient transferring devices perceived to produce less physical stress than existing manual patient handling methods. Manual pulling methods using slings and belts, mechanical hoists, and a shower chair with removable arms and foot rests were investigated. The mean acceptability rates for the walking belt and the mechanical hoist were 81% and 7%, respectively, for patient transfers. The incidence rate for back injuries decreased from 83 to 47 per 200,000 work hours after the intervention. No injuries were noted which resulted in lost or restricted work days during the 4 post intervention months. The authors conclude that an appropriate ergonomic intervention program may prove to be extremely helpful in reducing physical stress and risk of low back problems in nursing personnel.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-200-86-2923; Health-care-personnel; Ergonomics; Physical-stress; Back-injuries; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Nurses; Manual-lifting
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee