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Say no to manual lifting: Lifting a patient without equipment always leads to injury

For years, the medical community has known that manual lifting of patients can lead to work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) from repeated and improper lifting of heavy objects (like human beings). The problem with manually lifting patients is that it always results in injury, Enos says—it’s not a matter of if, but when. If a nurse or caregiver manually lifts patients often enough, they will develop an WRMSD, even if they use proper body mechanics and technique. And injured staff means fewer hands to take care of patients.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from 2014 shows that for hospital workers, the rate of musculoskeletal injuries due to overexertion was twice the national average (68 per 10,000). The rate for nursing home workers was over three times the average (107 per 10,000), and the rate for ambulance workers was over five times the average (174 per 10,000). More recent studies have only confirmed these numbers.

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