manual materials handling

Effects of Compliant Flooring Systems and Resident Weight on Hand Forces When Pushing Floor-Based Lifts and Wheelchairs Among Long-Term Care Staff

Compliant flooring is a promising intervention for reducing fall-related injuries among long-term care residents but may increase the forces required for direct care staff to perform pushing tasks. We analyzed initial and sustained hand forces required for care staff to push a wheelchair (n=14) or two floor-based lifts (traditional manual and motor-driven) (n=14), loaded with average and ninetieth percentile resident weights, over four flooring systems. Compliant subflooring increased push forces compared to concrete subflooring, especially with vinyl overlay, but pushing over a compliant subfloor with vinyl overlay did not require more force than pushing over a concrete subfloor with carpet overlay. Compared to the traditional lift, the motor-driven lift substantially reduced push forces on all flooring systems. With the motor-driven lift only, resident weight did not influence push forces. These results provide new knowledge about the effects of compliant flooring and motor-driven lifts on push forces in long term care.
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