We are not aware of any specific guidelines for weight limits when pushing patients in wheelchairs. However, common sense dictates that the same principles that guide our approach to safe patient lifting must also apply to pushing (or pulling) patients or residents whether they are in wheelchairs, gurnies, beds, or any other wheeled device. The caregiverís ability to quickly assess each specific situation for risk of injury, along with her awareness of sound ergonomic principles, should guide how she proceeds. If, for example, she is attempting to push an obese patient on a carpeted surface or up an incline, she should be advised to seek assistance.
For additional information, you may wish to visit the Website below which is maintained by Worksafe BC and which includes an interactive Push/Pull/Carry calculator. As advised in their introduction, if you are required to measure actual forces you may wish to obtain a push/pull force gauge.
Thanks for your interest in safe patient handling.
The Lift Doctor*