Heavy Lifting Help
One of the greatest safety risks to
healthcare workers could be reduced if
more training and coaching were available,
an Institute for Work & Health
(IWH) study has found.
A peer-coaching program to help
healthcare workers use patient lifts resulted
in a large drop in injuries. The
program was introduced in BC across 15
long term care facilities between 2006
and 2011, leading to a 34 percent reduction
in injury rates and a 56 percent
drop after the program was over.
“Our calculations show that 62 lost-time
claims were prevented as a result of this
coaching program,” says Dr. Emile Tompa,
labour economist and senior scientist
at IWH who led the study.
To reduce the demands of patient handling,
many jurisdictions in Canada have
introduced patient lifts and policies,
eliminating the manual lifting of patients.
But the IWH study suggests that
proper training and peer coaching are
needed to further eliminate injury.