WorkSafe Products is an ergonomics company specializing in safe patient handling issues and office ergonomics.
A common statement we hear from our clients is that their patients are becoming heavier and heavier. Lifts with higher weight limits are a must. However, other issues must be taken into account when purchasing a new lift to accommodate higher weight.
As an example, you must consider arm reach. Patients that weigh over 450lbs are going to have a very large girth. A lift used for these patients is going to need a long arm.
One on the best areas for using Ceiling Lifts in hospitals is Radiology. CT Scanners and X-Ray devices can pose challenges for Safe Patient Handling issues. The equipment does not allow for positioning lifts underneath the tables, some lifts do not go high enough and lifting equipment is not always available.
Complex gantry systems can pose additional problems. WorkSafe products has been installing Ceiling Lifts in Radiology Departments for many years. Pictured above is an gantry system that has the x-ray system on rails attached to the ceiling. The solution for EZ Way was to put the track outside of the X-Ray gantry, allowing each to be used as necessary. When not in use, the EZ Way Ceiling Lift parked out of the way.
For out-patient Radiology, may patients arrive with their own slings already under them. EZ Way slings can be placed around the patients sling so that the patient can be sent home without disturbing his sling.
Contact WorkSafe Products for other Radiology solutions.
As we visit customers an prospects, they are interested in implementing Safe Patient Handling programs. However, getting the employees to use the equipment is always an issue. We have solutions and guidelines that can help.
Following a well planned approach is the best solution. We have a program called “The EZ Way Facility Evaluation.” This starts with an analysis of the facility and follows through to training. We also work with a third-party consultant called Prevent, Inc. who will also take you through the entire process. Prevents success rate in the 90% range (that is, if you are not currently using a Safe Patient Handling program, it is possible for them to lower expenses related to employee injury by 90%).
Prevent, Inc. has identified that the following practices create the most effective and sustainable safe handling programs:
1. The Chief Nurse Officer allocates the necessary resources for a successful implementation.
2. Staff who are viewed as change agents support and direct the initiative.
3. Appropriate and adequate mechanical lifts, cloth slings and accessories are secured.
4. A Safe Handling Policy is developed.
5. Procedures are integrated into the plan of care to trigger and reinforce the determination of the patient’s needs for safe mobilization.
6. Marketing strategies increase understanding and support of the change of practice.
7. The educational plan supports competence with the use of equipment and safe handling practice.
8. Mentoring and development at the bedside to support and build confidence and competence.
9. Unit Champions sustain and build the Safe Patient Handling practice.
10. Ongoing outcomes are measured and analyzed to develop the Safe Patient Handling practice.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and partners in 2004 recognized a research project aimed at reducing work-related back injuries among employees of a group of nursing homes. The successful project reduced the frequency of back injuries in six facilities operated by BJC Health Care by 57 percent, lowered injury rates by 58 percent and decreased workers’ compensation expenses by 71 percent. Rates for the three years before the intervention were compared with the rates for three years after.
The focus of the project was to combine measures that may help reduce possible causes of injury. Movement and postures that put nursing assistants at risk of back strain, stress and injury in lifting and moving residents where identified. Mechanical lifting devices for reducing those stresses and strains were closely evaluated. A “best practices” program was put in place based on project results and employee input.
“Everyone benefits when partners work together to tackle demanding challenges in occupational safety and health,” said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. “This model shows promise as the nursing home industry examines new ways to reduce the risk of painful, costly, work-related back injuries among employees.”
The project partners received the award during the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Symposium 2003, co-sponsored by NIOSH on June 23 – 24 in Arlington, VA. The partners were BJC Health Care, BJC Occupational Health Nurse Council, Washington University, West Virginia University, EZ Way Inc., Arjo and NIOSH.
“Not only will BJC employees benefit from this project but employees and management from all other health care facilities will understand the true benefit of using mechanical patient lifts and stands” said Ted Engler of Worksafe Products. Ted Engler is President of WorkSafe Products, the local dealer for EZ Way products, and received EZ Way’s award at the symposium. WorkSafe is the St. Louis supplier of ergonomic products and services to BJC Health Care and many other health care providers in Illinois and Missouri.
NIOSH engaged more than 500 partner organizations and individuals in developing NORA. The research agenda stimulates and supports new collaborative research in 21 priority areas of occupational illness injury and illness prevention. The NORA Symposium is held every two years to spotlight progress, accomplishments, and future opportunities under the agenda
At the NORA Research Symposium 2003, some 245 researchers and stakeholders from the private and public sectors discussed new findings and new partnering opportunities related to the NORA target areas.
For more information about NIOSH and NORA, call the toll-free NIOSH information number, 800-356-4674, or visit NORA web site www2.cdc.gov/NORA. For WorkSafe Products contact Ted Engler 314-872-9022 www.wsergo.com.
On Nov. 7, OSHA issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.
“Three million injuries are three million too many,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer’s obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”
The new proposal would require that establishments with more than 250 employees who are already required to keep records to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA. The agency is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, electronically submit their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. For more information on the proposed rule, read the press release and visit the Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rulemaking Web page.
The public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. For information on how to participate, read the Federal Register notice.