Health and Safety

Safe Patient Handling Act of 2006

SECTION 23-80-2

§ 23-80-2. Legislative findings.

(a) Patients are at greater risk of injury, including skin tears, falls, and musculoskeletal injuries, when being lifted, transferred, or repositioned manually.

(b) Safe patient handling can reduce skin tears suffered by patients by threefold, and can significantly reduce other injuries to patients as well.

(c) Health care workers lead the nation in work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Between thirty-eight percent (38%) and fifty percent (50%) of nurses and other health care workers will suffer a work-related back injury during their career. Forty-four percent (44%) of these workers will be unable to return to their pre-injury position.

(d) Research indicates that nurses lift an estimated 1.8 tons per shift. Eighty-three percent (83%) of nurses work in spite of back pain, and sixty percent (60%) of nurses fear a disabling back injury. Twelve percent (12%) to thirty-nine percent (39%) of nurses not yet disabled are considering leaving nursing due to back pain and injuries.

(e) Safe patient handling reduces injuries and costs. In nine (9) case studies evaluating the impact of lifting equipment, injuries decreased sixty percent (60%) to ninety-five percent (95%), Workers' Compensation costs dropped by ninety-five percent (95%), and absenteeism due to lifting and handling was reduced by ninety-eight percent (98%).

History of Section.
(P.L. 2006, ch. 353, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 463, § 1.)