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California Law Advances Safe Patient Handling

Publish Date: 10/26/2011

On October 7, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1136, “Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act”. This law amends the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 and requires employers to maintain a patient protection and health care worker back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan which includes “the replacement of manual lifting and transferring of patients with powered patient transfer devices, lifting devices, or lift teams”.

AORN supports legislative and regulatory initiatives that create and maintain a safe perioperative work environment that promotes safe patient care. Particular focus on safe patient handling can be found in AORN’s Safe Patient Handling and Movement Tool Kit, which was designed to educate perioperative nurses in the safe way to move patients and equipment to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. This Tool Kit was based on the AORN guidance statement, “Safe Patient Handling and Movement in the Perioperative Setting” which can be found in Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices.

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