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Adapting OSHA Ergonomic Guidelines to the Rehabilitation Setting


  • Paul Nathenson RN BSN MPA CRRN

    Corresponding author
    1. Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Lincoln, NE
      Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, 5401 South Street, Lincoln, NE 68506.
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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, 5401 South Street, Lincoln, NE 68506.


Nursing aides and orderlies ranked second of all occupations in the number of occupational injuries and illness involving lost days at work. The majority of these injuries in nursing are associated with moving or assisting patients and residents in healthcare settings. OSHA has developed guidelines for nursing homes in order to provide information and step-by-step procedures for nursing home employers and employees about potential ergonomic hazards and ways to reduce those hazards. The purpose of this article is to adapt the OSHA guidelines for nursing homes to the inpatient rehabilitation facility so that evidence-based information can be utilized to establish programs and protocols to prevent employee injuries during patient lifting and movement in inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Rehabilitation facilities are uniquely positioned for innovative and successful ergonomic safety practices due to the rehabilitation philosophy and characteristics of the rehabilitation team.

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