Changes in ergonomic exposures of nursing assistants after the introduction of a safe resident handling program in nursing homes.
Kurowski-A; Boyer-J; Fulmer-S; Gore-R; Punnett-L
Int J Ind Ergon 2012 Nov; 42(6):525-532
We evaluated the effect of a nursing home safe resident handling intervention on the ergonomic exposures of nursing assistants. The healthcare version of the Postures, Activities, Tools and Handling (PATH) method was used by 12 observers to examine postures, manual handling, and resident handling pre-intervention and at three months, 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months post-intervention. There were marked downward trends in proportion of work time spent repositioning and transferring residents, and an increased use of handling equipment in transferring (Cochran-Armitage tests: all p-values <0.001). While resident handling, nursing assistants were also more likely post-intervention to be in neutral trunk postures, walking rather than standing still, working with both arms below 60°, and less likely to lift loads greater than 22.7 kg. Lateral transfer devices were infrequently observed in use for repositioning; additional training on the use of this equipment is recommended to increase the benefits from the intervention program.
Nursing; Workers; Work-capacity; Work-capability; Work-environment; Manual-lifting; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Equipment-design; Posture; Total-Worker-Health; Body-mechanics; Biomechanics; Weight-factors; Force; Humans; Men; Women; Injuries;
Author Keywords: Intervention effectiveness; Nursing home industry; Ergonomics tool; Exposure assessment; Injury risk
Alicia Kurowski , 1 University Ave., Kitson Hall, Room 200, Lowell, MA 01854
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
University of Massachusetts, Lowell