Safe Patient Handling

Whenever a patient requires assistance in moving at St. Cloud Technical & Community College, these guidelines will be followed.

These guidelines have been developed to protect the health and comfort of patient, students and employees when patients require assistance in moving, through the consistent use of mechanical aids/devices, and to meet regulatory requirements.


SCTCC is committed to providing employees and students with a safe work environment, while providing exceptional care, and to complying with regulatory requirements with regard to worker health and safety. Safe patient-handling (SPH) is a key component to reducing hazards of injury for our employees, students and our patients. Therefore, it is the policy of SCTCC that when patients receiving care require assistance from SCTCC employees and/or students to move (e.g., assisted transfer, lifting or repositioning), that assistance is provided in a manner that is safe for the patient, student and employee. Specifically, mechanical lifting equipment and/or other approved patient moving aids should be used in all circumstances when lifting/moving residents except when absolutely necessary, such as during a medical emergency.

Program elements

SCTCC Safety Committee - Safe-Patient-Handling Committee

The SCTCC Safety Committee has been assigned as our Safe-Patient-Handling Committee and to help administer the safe-patient-handling program. The committee comprises at least 50 percent nonmanagerial faculty and direct patient care workers. Employees who serve on the safe-patient-handling committee will provide their insight and energy toward the identification and control of hazards associated with lifting and moving of residents, as part of their daily care. Members of the committee are compensated through their standard pay for all hours spent on committee business.

Assessment of safe-patient-handling hazards

The SCTCC Safety Committee will actively participate in a facility-wide patient handling hazard assessment for SCTCC that considers the patient handling tasks, and what types of mechanical lifting equipment and/or other approved patient moving aids should be used, patient populations and the physical environment of patient care areas. Hazard assessment forms are included with this program; one form provides a general facility assessment and one form is more specific to a patient or work area.

Each patient will be assessed for safe-patient-handling needs during registration process to our facility and for each relevant activity in the care delivery process. The information from this assessment will be contained in the care plan for each patient and the care plan will identify the safe-patient-handling requirements for that individual.
Completed written hazards assessments will be maintained with a master copy of the written safe-patient-handling program.
Assessment of injury trends

SCTCC will use accident and near-miss investigation reports, first report of injury forms, workers’ compensation information, OSHA 300 logs and any other work-related injury data to identify and track caregiver injury trends. Tasks identified as having caused or as likely to cause an injury will be prioritized and assessed by the safe-patient-handling committee to determine safe-patient-handling equipment needs. Further action will be taken as needed to prevent and/or minimize the occurrence of future such injuries.

Acquisition of safe-patient-handling equipment

SCTCC Nursing programs own and maintain the needed equipment to meet the requirements of these guidelines. An adequate supply of equipment means every employee has available to them, in a timely manner, the appropriate type of safe-patient-handling equipment necessary for the procedure being performed. A schedule of proposed equipment purchases is included with this program.


Training of faculty and other direct patient care workers will be provided to demonstrate proper application and use of available safe-patient-handling equipment. The training will be conducted initially – and periodically thereafter – based on observed need or requests for training. Training will demonstrate how equipment can be used, proper methods for use and proper application for use relative to the care activity provided. Training records will be maintained and will include the dates training was conducted, the name and title of the person who conducted the training, the names and job titles of employees who completed the training and a brief summary or outline of the information included in the training session. The training records for safe-patient-handling will be maintained with this guide.

Modifications/construction to patient care areas

When developing architectural plans for constructing or remodeling a unit in which patient handling occurs, consideration toward the feasibility of incorporating patient-handling equipment must be considered. Therefore, prior to any modifications and/or major construction to patient care areas, the management of SCTCC shall consult the safe-patient-handling committee to determine the modifications meet the goal of minimizing manual lifting of patients outlined in this program. The safe-patient-handling committee will provide recommendations about appropriate room design and layout to accommodate the use of safe-patient-handling equipment and procedures.

Annual review

The written Safe Patient Handling Guidelines at SCTCC will be reviewed at least annually by the SCTCC Safety committee to remove outdated information, insert new information and update training records. Reviews will also be conducted following modification or construction of patient care areas.

The review will focus on employee compliance with the safe-patient-handling program requirements and the effectiveness of the program toward reducing worker and patient injuries. Injury information, accident/near-miss investigation information, records of day-to-day observations and employee feedback will be obtained and reviewed to evaluate the program. The evaluation will identify program strengths and weaknesses, and will determine an action plan to improve each area of weakness in the program.