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Biomechanical evaluation of assistive devices for transferring residents.

Zhuang-Z; Stobbe-TJ; Hsiao-H; Collins-JW; Hobbs-GR
Appl Ergon 1999 Aug; 30(4):285-294
This is the first of two articles to report a biomechanical evaluation and psychophysical assessment of nine battery-powered lifts, a sliding board, a walking belt, and a baseline manual method for transferring nursing home residents from a bed to a chair. The objectives of the biomechanical evaluation were: (1) to investigate the effects of transfer method and resident weight on the biomechanical stress to nursing assistants performing the transferring task, and (2) to identify resident-transferring methods that could reduce the biomechanical stress to the nursing assistants. Nine nursing assistants served as test subjects; two elderly persons participated as residents. A four-camera motion analysis system, two force platforms, and a three-dimensional biomechanical model were used to measure biomechanical load. The results indicate that transfer method and resident weight affect a nursing assistant's low-back loading. The basket-sling and overhead lift devices significantly reduced the nursing assistants' back-compressive forces during the preparation phase of a resident transfer. In addition, the use of basket-sling, overhead, and stand-up lifts removed about two-thirds of the exposure to low-back stress (lifting activities per transfer) as compared to the baseline manual method. Thus, the use of these devices reduces biomechanical stress, and thereby will decrease the occurrence of resident-handling-related low-back injuries. Furthermore, lifting device maneuvering forces were found to be significantly different and a number of design/use problems were identified with various assistive devices. The second article will detail the psychophysical assessment of the same resident-transferring methods.
Biomechanics; Back-injuries; Injuries; Nursing; Health-care; Models; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Control-technology; Engineering-controls; Author Keywords: Patient-handling devices; Biomechanical evaluation; Back injury
Ziqing Zhuang, US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
Publication Date
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Journal Article
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
Applied Ergonomics
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division