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Federal bill would eliminate manual patient handling

Publish Date: 7/31/2013

The Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2480) was recently introduced by U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), a member of Congress for over 40 years and a long-time supporter of health care reform and nursing workforce issues. H.R. 2480 incorporates key content from the newSafe Patient Handling and Mobility: Interprofessional National Standards published by the American Nurses Association (ANA). AORN contributed to the development of the safe patient handling and mobility standards via participation on the ANA’s national working group of subject matter experts responsible for developing the standards. Both ANA and AORN support the bill.

Among its provisions, H.R. 2480 would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop and implement a safe patient handling and mobility standard that will eliminate manual lifting of patients by direct-care RNs and health care workers, and require health care employers to:

  • Develop a safe patient handling and mobility plan, and to obtain input from direct-care RNs and health care workers during the process of developing and implementing such a plan;
  • Purchase, use and maintain equipment and to train health care workers;
  • Track and evaluate injuries related to the application of the safe patient handling and mobility standard;
  • Make information available to employees and their representatives.

Additional information on safe patient handling and mobility issues, including H.R. 2480 and a summary of current state laws and regulations, is available from ANA here. AORN will continue to support and monitor safe patient handling and mobility initiatives and will engage our members in grassroots initiatives as needed.

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