Petersen, C, ed., Denver, CO: The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), 2007 Jan; :11-13
The 2005-2006 Workplace Safety Task Force was charged by AORN President Sharon McNamara, RN, MS, CNOR, to prepare a guidance document for ergonomically healthy workplaces. In addition, the task force was charged with forming a collaborative arrangement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) to work together to discuss, design, and advance the agenda of healthy work sites for perioperative professionals, to include ergonomic safety. This document was developed by AORN with the assistance of a panel of experts from the Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, Tampa, Fla; the James A. Haley Veterans Administration Medical Center (VMAC); the NIOSH Division of Applied Research and Technology Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Team; and ANA. Members of the task force examined current research, literature, and patient care practices to evaluate and make recommendations to promote patient and caregiver safety when performing activities in a perioperative setting. While there are several high-risk tasks specific to perioperative nurses, the task force identified seven key activities as the starting point for developing recommendations. Some of these recommendations are based upon current technology that can be immediately implemented. Others, such as use of ceiling lifts in operating rooms, are in development or are projected patient handling innovations. This group will continue to examine what is available and encourage manufacturers to develop new and innovative technologies to achieve the optimal safety of the patient and the caregiver. Development of this equipment is critical for successful implementation of these ergonomic tools. The ergonomic tools developed for this guidance document are based on previous work by Audrey Nelson, PhD, RN, FMN; experts within the Veterans Administration (VA); and nationally recognized researchers.28 The ergonomic tools for safe patient handling and movement have been designed with the goal of eradicating job-related musculoskeletal disorders in perioperative nurses. The ergonomic tools and algorithms were developed based on professional consensus and evidence from research. Plans are under way for pilot tests in several facilities.