This study was requested by the Health and Safety Executive to investigate the use and practicability of Electric Profiling Beds (EPBs) for the control of manual handling risk in a care setting. Data were collated from a literature review, a questionnaire and through observation of simulated manual handling tasks. A total of 1944 questionnaires were sent to a random sample of care homes across England and Scotland. A total of 415 returned questionnaires were included in the analysis. Five site visits were undertaken to homes caring for people with physical and/or learning disabilities, the elderly mentally ill and frail elderly. Overall the results suggest that EPBs are generally selected for use with, and provide the most benefit for, assisting with the care of residents who have greater mobility needs. As such they form part of a range of manual handling equipment available for use to meet the needs of the carer and resident. It is proposed that the selection of EPBs for use in a care setting continues to be through a suitable and sufficient ergonomic risk assessment.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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