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Franken introduces Safe Patient Handling Bill in Senate

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) has introduced S. 1788, a bill that would direct OSHA to issue a safe patient handling and injury prevention standard. The bill is a companion bill to HR 2381, the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2009  introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI.)
“Nurses and health-care workers shouldn’thave to sacrifice their safety and their livelihood to help others,” Franken said in a statement. “Especially when many of these injuries could be prevented.”

According to Franken, thousands of nurses are injured every year because of lifting patients, resulting in spinal-disc damage and back strain.
Franken’s bill would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a standard on safe patient handling and injury prevention that would require the use of lift equipment. It would also require that care facilities implement safe patient-handling and injury-prevention plans and provide workers with training. Workers would be protected from employer retaliation if they refused to accept assignments and the Department of Health and Human Services would be directed to administer a $200 million grant program to cover the costs of acquiring safe patient-handling equipment for certain facilities.