Rates of musculoskeletal injuries in health care occupations are among the highest of U.S. industries, with hospital workers experiencing injury rates two or three times the national average. The single-greatest risk factor for overexertion injuries is the manual lifting, moving and repositioning of patients, clients and residents. Washington state law requires acute care hospitals to have a safe patient handling program.
Refuse to lift (RCW 70.41.390) #
An important provision of the acute care hospital law is the worker’s right to refuse to lift.
A hospital employee may refuse to perform or be involved in patient handling or movement that he/she believes in good faith will expose a patient or the worker to an unacceptable risk of injury.