Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Safe Patient Handling

Over 50 percent of injuries and illnesses reported in 2013 among nursing assistants were musculoskeletal disorders

New OSHA Policy for Hospitals
OSHA Memorandum, Inspection Guidance for Inpatient Healthcare Settings, June 25, 2015

Hospitals have high rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses. On average, U.S. hospitals recorded 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees in 2013, compared with 3.3 per 100 full-time employees for all U.S. industries combined. In 2013, 34 percent of recorded hospital worker injuries nationwide that resulted in days away from work were associated with patient interactions. Safe patient handling programs can reduce injuries such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Reducing injuries not only helps workers, but also will improve patient care and the bottom line. If your hospital is considering developing or refining a comprehensive safe patient handling program to protect workers and patients, having the right data, evidence, examples, and tools can help ensure success. OSHA has developed a series of online resources to help you develop and implement safe patient handling assessments, policies, procedures, programs, training, and patient education in your hospital.

Tools & Resources

Click on the products to learn more about safe patient handling.

  • Document 3.5

    The case for safe patient handling

    Read about how safe patient handling programs, policies, and equipment protect workers, save money, and improve patient care.

    PDF Download*

  • Document 3.8

    How is your hospital doing?

    Assess your current safe patient handling program and identify opportunities for improvement.

    PDF Download*

  • Document 3.1

    Busting the myths

    Dispel common myths, barriers, and concerns about safe patient handling.

    PDF Download*

  • Document 3.2

    What are the critical components of a safe patient handling program?

    Use a checklist to help you start or evaluate your safe patient handling program.

    MS DOCX Download*
    PDF Download*

  • Document 3.6

    Learn from the Leaders

    Read profiles about successful safe patient handling programs.

    PDF Download*

  • Document 3.3

    Need a lift? Just Ask!

    Download and customize a poster to educate your patients and their families about safe patient handling policies and equipment.

    MS PPTX Download*
    PDF Download*

Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Standards and Guidance at (202) 693-1950 for assistance accessing DOC, EPS, GIF, MP4, PDF, PPT or XLS documents.

*These files are provided for downloading.

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