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Case study 2 - Health services, equipment fit for purpose

The task

A newly built hospital had received reports from the nurses that the carpets made the mobile patient hoist far too difficult to manoeuvre. As a result the nurses stopped using the hoists.

Assessing the risk

The nurses identified that the carpets were an important risk factor in the task. When a patient was occupying the hoist, the wheels sank into the carpet, making it difficult to move. The hoist's wheels were made from rubber, which is suitable for smooth and/or hard floors.

The solution

Consulting with the supplier they found it was possible to change the wheels of the hoist to a type that is more suited for use on carpets such as polyurethane. The required force to manoeuvre the hoist was reduced by approximately 40% due to the new wheels. The hoists were now used when necessary for moving patients.

Other solutions were also suggested to eliminate or reduce the risk, these were:

Source: WorkCover New South Wales, Australia.

Updated 2014-09-18