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Safe Body Mechanics


Overview & Objectives

In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nursing assistants have the highest number of musculoskeletal injuries, even over nurses, paramedics, and firefighters.  Considerable research over the last few decades has shown that simply training healthcare workers in good body mechanics is not enough to prevent musculoskeletal injuries.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly recommend ergonomic training for healthcare workers, and define it as “the practice of designing equipment and work tasks to conform to the capability of the worker.”  They recommend that manual lifting of patients should be minimized or eliminated by the use of mechanical assistive devices to prevent musculoskeletal injuries, even with hospice patients who have lost considerable weight.  This module covers the proper body mechanics and devices that can be used in hospice settings, and includes the following learning objectives:

  • Describe “ergonomics”
  • Review the “ABCs” of proper body mechanics
  • List ways to prevent musculoskeletal injuries in the hospice setting
  • Discuss lifting and transferring patients using mechanical devices
  • Discuss factors that complicate lifting and transferring patients
  • List the ways employers can help prevent musculoskeletal injuries among staff workers



  • Self-study Section
  • Group Exercise:  Common Tasks and Transfers
  • Test Questions
  • Instructor Answer Key
  • Attendance Sheet
  • Evaluation Form
  • Certificate of Attendance