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Healthcare: Lifting Safely

Safety Posters Library

Patient Care Plan
Understand the individual needs and capabilities of each patient. Maintain current and accurate information on each patient and make it accessible for all employees. Have a set plan to be followed. Any worker should be able to read the lift plan and know how to assist a patient.  

Stretching
Performing proper stretches before lifting can help prepare the body. Correct stretching should be relaxed, slow, and frequent. Do not bounce or stretch to the point of pain. Hold stretches for three to five relaxed breaths. Perform stretches on both sides.  

Lifting
The ideal situation is to eliminate the need for a manual lift. If that is not feasible, always assess the risk when approaching the lift. Utilize engineering controls to limit the risk of injury from lifts. Scan the area for hazards, they may require adjustments to the lift plan. Find the appropriate lift device to assist you in your carry. If needed, do not lift weight that cannot be managed alone. Seek the help of another worker to assist you in a lift. Engage the patient and keep them involved in the situation. Keep the patient close to the body when lifting. Avoid twisting when lifting. For those that wear back belts, do not overexert believing that the back belt will prevent any injury.  

There should be a concentrated effort to minimize the number of lifts performed by each individual. Minimize the distance needed to lift a patient. Staff members should be scheduled appropriately with a large number of employees available during peak hours.  

Remember to LIFT SAFE while assisting an individual:
  
Learn the lift plan
Inform supervisor if there are problems
Find the appropriate lift devices
Talk through the lift with client

Scan for hazards
Ask for help when needed
Follow the lift plan
Exercise to gain strength

Mechanical Assistance
Follow instructions of use as written by the manufacturer. Do not use if the machine is broken. Tag out the machine while waiting for it to be repaired or replaced.

Slips & Falls 
Be aware of wet surfaces at all times. Eliminate wet surfaces immediately. Exercise caution when assisting patients into and out of showers, for water will be present in the area. Be careful of spills that may occur from drinking liquids or spills that may have been caused by visitors. When entering and leaving work during the winter, proceed slowly as conditions may be icy and slippery. Workers should wear slip-resistant footwear.  

Personal Health
The personal condition of the worker can greatly reduce the risk of injury. Make sure to be well-rested before each shift. Daily exercise can help workers increase strength and flexibility to help them perform their tasks.

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NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.

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Insurance coverage in all states other than Utah is provided by Advantage Workers Compensation Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WCF Mutual Insurance Company, doing business as WCF Insurance. Advantage is domiciled in Indiana; NAIC number: 40517. Administrative office: P.O. Box 571918, Salt Lake City, UT 84157-1918.
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