Menu Close

Resources for Back Injury Prevention

OSHA - Hospital resources for worker safety and safe patient handling

OSHA has a comprehensive suite of resources for hospitals to assess workplace safety needs, implement safety and health management systems, and enhance their safe patient handling programs. Resources include detailed injury statistics, self assessments, program elements to comply with Joint Commission, tools for calculating cost effectiveness of program, case studies from high performers, sample policies, fact sheets and posters.Download a few examples of resources available on the OSHA site:

Department of veterans affairs

  • One of the most comprehensive guides for developing a safe patient handling program is found at the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network. This site provides in-depth guidance on developing a safe patient handling program including sample policies and guidance on restraint use, bariatric patients and psychiatric settings. There are two parts to this guide:
    • Part A includes case studies, worksite assessments, equipment evaluation, and tools for surveys and event reporting.
    • Part B provides information on program evaluation and outcome measures.

Massachusetts State

Moving into the Future: Promoting safe patient handling for worker and patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals a report from the Massachusetts Hospital Ergonomic task force includes data on injuries related to patient handling in MA hospitals, best practice guidance and safe patient handling initiative in other states.

Washington State

The Washington Safe Patient Handling Committee was created to address the needs of those employees and employers who were establishing safe patient handling programs. The committee has developed easy-to-follow guidance, a list of useful tools, and other resources to help you get started. Other resources are available from their Ergonomics page.


The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) published guidance for safe patient handling programs that includes assessment tools and implementation strategies.


Safe Patient Handling The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH/CDC) has multiple resources on its website for safe patient handling.

The American Nurses Association

ANA has resources and tools to help nurses establish safe patient lifting practices.

Online calculator - Return on investment for safe lifting programs

This online calculator estimates a potential “Return on Investment” (ROI) from the implementation of a safe lifting program to help justify the investment of time, training, and capital equipment. Liko, Inc. has made this available at their Safe Lifting Portal. For more information visit: or call 888.545.6671.

Sample policy and procedures

Glendale Adventist System – One hospital’s job description for patient mobility team member and competency skill checklist. (Shared with permission.)

Equipment guides