The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has produced a technical report (TR) on Manual Handling of People in the Healthcare Sector. This technical Report provides guidance for assessing the problems and risks associated with manual patient handling in the healthcare sector, and for identifying and applying ergonomic strategies and solutions to those problems and risks.
Its main goals are
– to improve caregivers’ working conditions by decreasing biomechanical overload risk, thus limiting work-related illness and injury, as well as the consequent costs and absenteeism
– to account for patients’ care quality, safety, dignity and privacy as regards their needs, including specific personal care and hygiene.
Its recommendations are primarily applicable to the movement of people (adults and children) in the provision of healthcare services in purposely built or adapted buildings and environments. Some recommendations can also be applied to wider areas (e.g. home care, emergency care, voluntary caregivers, cadaver handling).
The recommendations for patient handling take into consideration work organization, type and number of patients to be handled, aids, spaces where patients are handled, as well as caregivers’ education and awkward postures, but do not apply to object (movement, transfer, pushing and pulling) or animal handling.
The ISO TR 12296:2012 Manual Handling of People in the Healthcare Sector can be purchased through www.iso.org or NSAI the National Standards Authority of Ireland www.nsai.ie