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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Provincial Safe Handling Standards for Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention in British Columbia

Residential care as a sector has one of the highest injury rates in the province, with musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) representing the largest injury category. Due to the repetitive and heavy burden of care associated with resident-handling activities, care aides working in the sector are particularly vulnerable, with an injury rate and associated costs higher than that of any other healthcare worker classification.

This document brings many of those best practices together, in the form of provincial safe resident handling standards for MSI prevention, so that residential care facilities across the province can review them and implement relevant policies and practices in their own organizations.

The standards cover 10 areas: policy, management strategies, education and training, equipment, and six sets of safe work practices for particularly high risk resident handling activities (i.e., transfers and ambulation, bed care / repositioning, positioning seated residents, resident toileting, resident bathing, and resident dressing).

The development of the standards brought together ergonomic specialists and musculoskeletal injury prevention advisors from five B.C. health authorities (Fraser Health, Interior Health, Northern Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Vancouver Island Health) as well as Providence Health Care.

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