Rempel Advises on Safe Patient Handling Legislation in California

Photo: David Rempel
David Rempel


David Rempel, professor of Medicine in the UCSF Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and director of the joint Berkeley and UCSF Ergonomics Program, will advise Cal/OSHA on the new Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act, AB 1136, that became effective January 1, 2012.

In addition to assisting with the development of the regulation and policies for compliance, Ergonomics staff will train Cal/OSHA officers responsible for confirming that patient handling programs meet state legislative requirements.

To comply with AB 1136, hospitals must ensure their Injury and Illness Prevention Program addresses all patient handling situations, develops strategies for identifying the mobility needs of each patient, provides powered lift devices and supplies where needed, and offers training for all personnel involved in patient handling.

Musculoskeletal injury is common among nurses as a result of lifting and handling patients.1 ”We know that comprehensive safe patient handling programs prevent injuries among hospital staff and reduce patient injuries,” Rempel reports. Safe patient handling legislation has now passed in eight states, he added, while a growing number of additional states are considering similar legislation.

1 de Ruiter HP, Liaschenko J. To Lift or Not to Llift: Patient-Handling Practices. AAOHN J. 2011 Aug;59(8):337-43.

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