Federal Safe Patient Handling Bill Reintroduced

Published: January 4, 2016

Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers Jr. reintroduced the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2015. The bill addresses the hazards nurses and health care workers face from manually lifting patients. Standardizing policy across the nation, the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act, builds upon successful state-level reforms.

“We reintroduced this legislation because of the dangers that the women and men who care for us in our most trying times face on a daily basis,” said Rep. John Conyers. “H.R. 4266, the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act would ensure that those men and women are adequately protected from injuries caused by lifting and moving patients and other related job hazards.  By literally lightening the burden on nurses, we can lessen the nursing shortage that is driving up health care costs across the country and denying patients the experienced caregivers they deserve.”

“Our nurses and health care workers provide essential care to millions of Americans, and they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their safety or their livelihood to do so,” Sen. Franken said. “Every year, thousands of these caregivers sustain serious injuries as a result of manually lifting patients. These injuries can cause a lifetime of chronic pain and even force nurses to leave the profession permanently. Our bill would ensure that nurses and health care workers have the tools they need to do their jobs safely, which would prevent injuries, increase patient safety, and reduce costs.”

The American Nurses Association’s leadership ensured this vital piece of legislation was reintroduced. Because workplace safety is a key legislative priority, AORN will once again submit a letter of support for this bill. AORN will update members on how to support ANA’s effort to pass Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2015.