Vol. 1 - No. 3 - July 12, 2006
Welcome to the latest issue of Safe Lifting News, a periodic e-newsletter designed to report on what’s happening in the world of safe patient lifting and movement. We are truly overwhelmed by your response to our newsletter and thank all of you who have sent along suggestions for topics you’d like covered. If you haven’t had a chance to respond, please take a moment to tell us what you want to read and know about. You can send me an e-mail with more of your thoughts and reactions. Tell us about your job responsibilities and where you stand on patient lifting. And if you’ve got a question, just
"Ask the Lift Doctor" in the link below. As always, we look forward to hearing from you!
Editor, Safe Lifting News
Headlines in the news...
Where does your facility stand on injury rates?
In the US, the Department of Labor provides a wealth of information and tools regarding workplace injuries. You might be interested in comparing your facility’s injury statistics to those of similar facilities, either by state or nationwide. “Where we stand vs. our peers” might well be a compelling argument in favor of instituting or revitalizing a safe lifting program. Click on one or both of these links to access an incidence rate calculator and comparison tools.
Where does your facility stand on bariatric census?
Last year at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, patient care director Colleen Becker decided to check the numbers regarding the hospital’s average bariatric patient census. Approximately one-third of the 900 patients she checked weighed 350 lbs. or more, and on some days the bariatric census reached 50 percent. Further, 500 pound patients were not uncommon. What actions did Barnes-Jewish take as a result? Link to
http://www.barnesjewish.org/groups/default.asp?NavID=3235 for the full story.
Estimates of US bariatric population may be too low
Statisticians frequently depend on people filling in survey forms honestly, but a recent press release from the Harvard School of Public Health indicates people may not always provide correct information about their height and weight. As a result, in some areas of the country obesity estimates are as much as 50 percent too low. Why is this study of interest to those of us involved in the safe lifting movement? The answer is simple – administrators and managers can’t plan effectively for future needs if they are working with erroneous data. Link to
New York Bill Would Require Ceiling Lifts
A first-of-its-kind bill has been filed in the NY State Legislature that would require the installation and use of ceiling lifts in hospitals and nursing homes. The Bill (#A11863), which has not yet passed, would require the Commissioner of the Department of Health to promulgate rules and regulations relating to the installation and safe use of ceiling lifts in new hospitals and nursing homes and those undergoing major renovations. The legislation would also require actual installation and use of ceiling lifts where they can be safely installed. Visit
For a comprehensive summary of current legislative initiatives nationwide, including both specific wording and history of each legislative action, go to
www.safeliftingportal.com and click on “legislators” under Achieving Buy-In.
Determining the ROI of Lifting Equipment
An important consideration when attempting to drum up support for your safe lifting initiative is “Return on Investment” When you need a quick, informal estimate of ROI, you might want to visit safeliftingportal.com (Administrative Buy-In section) and plug your numbers into the interactive on-line calculator. Then, if you’d like to request a more comprehensive estimate including direct as well as indirect returns, simply fill in your data and send it along. A Liko specialist will run your numbers and get back to you with an estimate based on real-world experience that you can use for financial planning purposes. Visit
The University of Connecticut’s John Dempsey Hospital has incorporated the “Safe Lifting Environment” symbol onto its White Boards in patient rooms. For information on UConn’s program, e-mail Patti Wawzyniecki
(firstname.lastname@example.org), or to contact the white board supplier, contact
New Equipment News
Viking XL Multi-purpose Bariatric Lift
The recently introduced Viking XL heavy duty mobile floor lift is a general-purpose mobile floor lift capable of performing a multitude of tasks including lifting patients from the floor and, when fitted with optional pivoting arm rests, assisting with ambulation and gait training. The Viking XL features the highest capacity-to-weight ratio in the industry. The lift weighs only 95 lbs yet has a lifting capacity of 660 lbs. The exceptionally light weight is explained by the aluminum construction and makes the lift easier for nurses and caregivers to roll and maneuver. Note: when selecting a mobile lift for heavy patients, be sure to take into consideration: lifting capacity, maneuverability, ambulation capability, versatility to solve unanticipated problems, sling comfort, overall safety, and availability of bariatric-specific slings. Go to
http://www.liko.com/web/show_page.asp?pageid=4614 for complete product specifications.
The Reading Room
Following are a few suggestions for background reading on the topic of safe lifting:
Safe Lifting and Movement of Nursing Home Residents
This NIOSH document (Dept. of Health and Human Services) provides background information and suggestions, a summary of benefits of safe lifting, FAQs, etc.
An Evaluation of a Best Practices Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program in Nursing Homes”
To review this summary of a 6-year intervention trial by Collins et al, visit
Safe Patient Handling and Movement Principles
NIOSH, ANA, and the VA have collaborated on this draft document to improve work practices for patient care workers. The presentation is designed for use in training by schools of nursing.
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