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Safe Patient Handling and Movement Policy

Date of Last Review: 7/30/07
SME: Director of Nursing

This policy describes ways to ensure that employees use safe patient handling and movement techniques in HCPC.

HCPC wants to ensure that its patients/residents are cared for safely, while maintaining a safe work environment for employees.  To accomplish this, direct care staff on high risk patient/ resident care areas should identify and assess high risk patient handling tasks in advance to determine the safest manner of transport to reduce risk of injury to patients and nursing staff associated with the lifting, transferring, repositioning, or movement of a patient.

Restriction, to the extent feasible with existing equipment and aids, of manual patient handling
or movement of all or most of a patient’s weight to emergency, life-threatening, or otherwise exceptional circumstances

Manual/mechanical lifting shall be minimized in all cases when possible.


A. Compliance
It is the duty of employees to take reasonable care of their own health and safety, as well
as that of their co-workers and their patients during patient handling activities by following  
this policy.  Non-compliance will indicate a need for retraining.

B. Analysis of Risk

  1. Management of bariatric and/or immobile patients
  2. Use of assistive devices
  3. Use mechanical lifting devices and other approved patient handling aids for high-risk patient handling and movement tasks except when absolutely necessary, such as in a medical emergency.
  4. Use mechanical lifting devices and other approved patient handling aids in accordance with instructions and training.

C. Education

Staff will complete and document training initially, annually, and as required to correct
Improper use/understanding of safe patient handling and movement.  Maintain training records for three (3) years.

Education will include identification, assessment, and control of risks of injury to patient and nurses during patient handling.  Staff will be educated on use of mechanical devices.

Mechanical lifting devices and other equipment/aids:

  1. Supervisors will ensure that mechanical lifting devices and other equipment/aids are accessible to staff.
  2. Supervisors shall ensure that mechanical lifting devices and other equipment/aids are maintained regularly and kept in proper working order.
  3. Supervisors and staff shall ensure that mechanical lifting devices and other equipment/aids are stored conveniently and safely.

D. Evaluation of Alternative
Safety Committee will evaluate alternative ways to reduce risk associated with patient handling, including evaluation of equipment and the environment.  Employees may suggest alternative ways to reduce risk to their supervisor which is then referred to the safety committee.

E. Reporting
The Safety Committee will report annually at a minimum to the Nurse Staffing Effective-ness Committee, PICC, and Governing Body.

If staff has an injury related to lifting or handling, the supervisor should be informed and the Supervisor’s First Report of Injury completed.

F. Refusal
Nursing staff shall notify their immediate supervisor if they believe, in good faith, will expose a patient or a nurse to an unacceptable risk of injury.

G. Construction
In development of architectural plans for construction or remodeling of patient care areas, consideration is given to the feasibility of patient handling equipment or the physical space and design needed to incorporate equipment at a later date. All construction plans are reviewed in Safety committee.

H. Equipment

Facilities Management

  1. Provide acceptable storage location for equipment/aide
  2. Shall be responsible for maintaining equipment/devices in proper working order.


Related Standards

Senate Bill No. 1525




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Harris County Psychiatric Center University of Texas Health Science Center