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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318270d535
Original Articles

Safe Lifting Programs at Long-Term Care Facilities and Their Impact on Workers' Compensation Costs

Restrepo, Tanya E. MBA; Schmid, Frank A. Dr.habil.; Gucer, Patricia W. PhD; Shuford, Harry L. PhD; Shyong, Chun J. BA; McDiarmid, Melissa A. MD, MPH, DABT

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Abstract

Objective: To determine the utility of a safe lifting program index and a measure of lift inventory to predict workers' compensation claim frequency and costs in long-term care facilities in 23 states.

Methods: Workers' compensation claims and cost data were matched to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)–certified facilities (N = 656). Facility safe lifting program index were derived from interviews with directors of nursing in a subset (N = 271).

Results: The higher the safe lift index score, the lower the claims and costs. An increase of one lift per 100 residents is associated with a 5% decrease in claims frequency and an 11% decrease in total costs on average.

Conclusion: In this national study, we find that a comprehensive safe lift program, endorsed and promoted by directors of nursing, reduces caregiver injury as measured by workers' compensation claims frequency and costs.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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