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Use of mechanical lifts reduced injury rates among nursing personnel.

Evanoff-B; Wolf-L; Aton-L; Canos-J; Bohr-P; Collins-J
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :85
To evaluate the effectiveness of mechanical patient lifts in reducing injuries among health care workers, and to describe and educational intervention to increase lift use. We conducted a pre-post intervention study examining changes in injury and lost day rates in 5 long-term care facilities and 36 nursing divisions in 4 acute care hospitals. Stand up and full body lifts were deployed with a 2-hour training session. Data on injuries and lost days were collected through OSHA 200 logs; data on utilization of lifts were collected through employee interviews. Rates of injuries and lost days were expressed in terms of events per 100 full-time equivalents (FTE). Nursing personnel on intervention units had decreased rates of recordable injuries in the post-intervention period compared to the pre-intervention period (RR=0.82; 95% c.i.=0.68 - 1.00). Changes were also seen in rates of injuries resulting in lost days (RR=0.56; 95% c.i. 0.41-0.78) and in total lost days due to injury. Larger changes were seen in long-term care facilities than in acute care hospitals. Interviews were completed by 190 health care workers. Self-reported frequencies of lift use by registered nurses and by nursing aides were higher in the LTC facilities (10% and 50%, respectively) than in acute care hospitals (6% and 34%). The most common reasons given for non-use of lifts included lack of perceived need for lifts, insufficient training, and lack of time. We conclude that the implementation of patient lifts can be effective in both the long-term care and the acute-care settings. Higher reported frequency of lift use was associated with greater reductions in injuries and lost days; further reductions in injury rates may be possible with increased use of lifts. We have recently begun to study the effectiveness of a more comprehensive educational intervention to increase the use of lifts.
Nursing; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Health-care-personnel; Health-care-facilities; Health-care; Education; Injury-prevention; Medical-personnel; Manual-lifting
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NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania