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Safe Patient Handling and Mobility SPHM Standards Update

Monday, November 4, 2013
Safe Patient Handling and Mobility SPHM Standards Update
There have been several advances in safe patient handling and mobility standards and regulations
on different fronts in recent months. If you are a health care provider or affiliated with these
providers, you might want to be prepared for how these advances may impact you.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Interprofessional
National Standards – These standards, which were developed by a working group of
approximately 30 members and supported by numerous others, were released on June 25, 2013.
They are voluntary standards, designed to be used by many different professionals across the
care continuum different environments of care. These environments include acute care, longterm
care, assisted living, the home environment, and others. The document includes the
following individual standards:

1. Establish a Culture of Safety
2. Implement and Sustain a Safe Patient Handling and Mobility (SPHM) Program
3. Incorporate Ergonomic Design Principles to Provide a Safe Environment of Care
4. Select, Install, and Maintain SPHM Technology
5. Establish a System for Education, Training, and Maintaining Competence
6. Integrate Patient-Centered SPHM Assessments, Plan of Care and Use of SPHM
7. Include SPHM in Reasonable Accommodation and Post-Injury Return to Work
8. Establish a Comprehensive Evaluation System.

On June 26, 2013 Suzy Harrington (DNP, RN, MCHES and ANA Director – Department for
Health, Safety, and Wellness) and Colin J. Brigham (CIH, CSP, CPE, CPEA, CSPHP and
1Source Vice President – Safety Management and Ergonomics) co-presented at a webinar to
review the need for and content of the standards. Colin was originally a working group member,
sub-group chair for 2 of the standards, and transitioned to a support role.

HR 2480, The Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2013 – This bill was introduced
in the U.S. Congress on June 26, 2013 by Representative John Conyers, Jr. It would require
OSHA to implement a SPHM standard. The language in the bill closely parallels the ANA Safe
Patient Handling and Mobility Interprofessional Standards.

Cal/OSHA Patient and Health Care Worker Protection Act – This legislation was passed in
October of 2011. Cal/OSHA has been developing regulations required by the act in consultation
with stakeholders since then. On July 31, 2013 the Occupational Safety and Health Standards

Board (OSHSB) of the State of California proposed regulations and related documents for
review. They are offered for public review and comments from August 2, 2013 to September 19,
2013. Cal/OSHA is already enforcing some requirements of this act under their Injury and Illness
Prevention Program (IIPP).

1Source Safety and Health can help you to address this important exposure, reducing your losses
and liabilities in a cost-effective manner. Colin J. Brigham, CIH, CSP, CPE, CPEA, CSPHP has
been helping health care clients to do so for almost 30 years. He is Past President and current
Board member for the Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals (ASPHP). He is a
certified safe patient handling professional (CSPHP). For more information contact him at or 610.524.5525, ext. 24.