Good news/bad news: California gov. to sign safe handling policy bill, nurses report significant lifting-related injuries
There’s good news and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? Here’s what happened this week in news for nurses.
California governor Jerry Brown said October 7 that he would sign a workplace safety bill requiring all California hospitals to have a safe handling policy. This would include lift teams and proper lift equipment. The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Union praised the decision, saying the bill will protect registered nurses and other healthcare workers, as well as helping prevent injuries to patients. The bill puts California in line with a handful of other states that have passed patient handling legislation.
Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 36,000 healthcare workers were injured from patient lifting and transferring in 2008 alone. Other surveys have documented that 83 percent of RNs work with back pain, and 52 percent call back pain “chronic.” Of those surveyed who have left the nursing profession, 12 percent report back pain to be a main or major reason in their decision.