Health Care Ergonomics

health care ergonomics
health care ergonomics

Safe Patient Handling Ergonomics Tips

Safe patient handling interventions can significantly reduce overexertion injuries by replacing manual patient handling with safer methods guided by the principles of Ergonomics.  Ergonomics refers to the design of work tasks to best suit the capabilities of workers.  In the case of patient handling, it involves the use of mechanical equipment and safety procedures to lift and move patients so that health care workers can avoid using manual exertions and thereby reduce their risk of injury.  At the same time, patient handling ergonomics seeks to maximize the safety and comfort of patients during handling. - NIOSH

Facts about Moving Patients:

  • Relying on proper body mechanics or manual lifting techniques alone is not effective to reduce caregiver injuries.
  • It can take longer to round up a team of colleagues to manually lift a patient than to find and use lifting equipment.
  • Most injuries in the hospital setting are cumulative in nature, so any steps taken to minimize the potential for injury during patient handling tasks benefits caregivers.
  • Utilization of Ergonomic Equipment is for ALL patients that depend on the assistance of a caregiver to move

Dynamic Work Warm-up

Reversal of Posture Stretches

  • Increase your ability to perform everyday tasks at Work and Home
  • Decrease your risk of Musculoskeletal and Cumulative Trauma Disorders
  • Lead to less joint wear and tear and reduced osteoarthritis joint stiffness and pain
  • Reduce muscle fatigue and soreness
  • Increase blood supply and nutrients to your muscles, tendons, and joints
  • Reduce stress

Ergonomic Workstation Assessment and Evaluation

The Ergonomic Workstation Assessment and Evaluation process is designed to provide employees with education, self-awareness, and onsite assistance if they believe their work area may not be optimal.  These services are a free benefit to all University of Iowa Faculty and Staff.

For worker’s compensation or disability accommodation, the UI Ergonomics Program will work with the individual employee, worker’s compensation, and/or Faculty and Staff Disability Services as appropriate.