Hoist alert

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Megan Ransley 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #4011

    Kate Browne
    Participant

    Hi All

    An alert has been issued by Worksafe Victoria , Australia following a fatal injury to a resident ina n aged care facility as per the information below:

    Portable patient handling ceiling hoists
    Information for employers about safe use of portable patient handling ceiling hoists.

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    Safety alert published
    Wednesday 23 Jan 2019
    Topics
    Cranes and lifting equipment
    Background
    Recently a resident at an aged care facility was fatally injured when the resident fell while being moved using a portable patient handling ceiling hoist.

    There have been several other incidents where portable patient handling ceiling hoists, which use latching hooks and wands or just wands (also known as extension arms), failed when transferring patients, causing serious injuries.

    Control measures
    As an employer, you must, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure that persons including patients, employees, contractors and members of the public are not exposed to risks to their health or safety.

    This includes ensuring plant (such as portable patient handling ceiling hoists) is provided and maintained in a way that is safe and without risks to health. You must also provide employees and contractors with necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to perform their jobs safely and without risks to health.

    You should:

    use permanently attached (as opposed to portable) ceiling hoists where reasonably practicable
    ensure manufacturer instructions for installation, use, maintenance and cleaning of hoists are followed in the workplace
    provide information, instruction and training to employees and contractors on how to properly connect, check and use hoists, and provide supervision as necessary
    require employees and contractors to undertake pre and post connection checks (and cross checks) of hoist components that are required to lock together during use
    ensure load ratings are identified and marked on hoist suspension components, and keep records of these ratings at the workplace
    arrange regular inspection, testing and maintenance of hoists – it may be necessary to engage a third-party service provider who has expertise in hoist inspection and maintenance
    withdraw and dispose of damaged, worn or faulty hoist components
    This safety alert replaces the safety alert Patient handling – portable ceiling hoists (August 2013).

    More information
    For additional information on the safe use of hoists and maintenance and testing requirements, see AS/NZS ISO 10535: Hoists for the transfer of disabled persons – Requirements and test methods.

    Related pages
    Safety alert: Portable hoists with sling attachments.

    Kate Browne
    Occupational Health Physiotherapist
    StaySafe Handling
    Ph/Fax:(09) 360 1751
    Mobile: 021 507023
    info@staysafehandling.co.nz
    Web: http://www.staysafehandling.co.nz

  • #4012

    Kate Browne
    Participant

    Hi again

    Here are some more details on the incident from Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)
    It details articularly about how to atatch these types of portable hoists which is how the failure occurred

    SAFETY ALERT
    – re MOLIFT (Etac) NOMAD PORTABLE CEILING HOIST 1200003 with a safe working load of 235kg (or similar)

    Please be aware that there has been an instance of failure in the operating system of the above named ceiling hoist within the aged care sector. This failure did result in the death of a resident.

    All Government subsidised aged care services are currently required by legislation
    (Aged Care Act 1997) to have internal systems and procedures in place to protect the
    health, safety and well-being of care recipients at all times.

    WorkSafe recommendation:

    Worksafe recommends that the manufacturer’s manual specifies that the safety hook
    (Flexi-link) be attached directly to the trolley rather than to the hook at the bottom of the extension strap – only ‘when necessary’ is the trolley to have a suspended attachment
    hook – ensure staff are aware of this and using appropriately.

    Refer to this link for further recommendations.

    Staff Training/Manual Handling:

    It is recommended that providers review and update systems for staff training and manual handling as required, ensuring that ALL steps that facilitate the safe use of a MOLIFT machine are documented and understood. All hooks/links are secure and double checked. There should be a verbal system in place for the cross-check.

    The Department of Health recommends that when using mobility aids, it is important that:
    • They are used appropriately following the assessment by an appropriate health professional.
    • Placement of the mobility aids and the risks associated with use have been assessed and documented.
    • The use of mobility aids is frequently monitored.
    Policies and Procedures:

    It is recommended that Policy and Procedure documents clearly outline your determined steps and include guidelines to ensure FRAT’s (Falls Risk Assessment Tool) are updated
    and reviewed.

    Ensure that within your Policy and Procedure documents that you have clear guidelines
    for regular and scheduled maintenance (as per supplier’s guidelines). This would include
    all mobility aids and hoists.

  • #4064

    Megan Ransley
    Participant

    Hi all.

    I have in the past few weeks had a couple of queries on the recently published alert from Worksafe Victoria Australia. While this is a first for a Molift supplied product, it is unfortunately not the first or only instance of a portable hoist being involved in this kind of accident.

    I think since this forum topic discusses the situation it is a good place to provide generic advice. If however you would like to discuss the detail in this situation or speak more specifically on these issues with other portable hoists please do get in contact with either myself (Megan Ransley Physiotherapist Morton&Perry) or David Morton (CEO Morton&Perry).
    We are keen to express our sadness that this has happened and to help in any way we can to stop it happening again with any portable system.

    In 2016 in Australia, Molift have unfortunately had their portable hoist (The Nomad) involved in an incident at an aged care facility where the motor came down from the rail resulting in a fall and injury to the hoisted client and later that person passing away from Pneumonia in hospital. This mechanism of accident was found to be a case of the hoist not being placed into the rail correctly, it not being secure and the motor falling.

    “There have been several other incidents where portable patient handling ceiling hoists, which use latching hooks and wands or just wands (also known as extension arms), failed when transferring patients, causing serious injuries.” Safety alert published Wednesday 23 Jan 2019

    Portable hoists present the benefit that one motor can be used to cover many spaces. By design they able to be separated from the ceiling rail and moved to another rail by staff. They are a cost-effective option for many health care settings, allowing one motor to service many rails. There is however an opportunity cost associated with portable hoists. The “every-time” set up of the hoist into the rail is crucial to their safe operation. Molift have thoroughly investigated the systems for coupling and stressed the importance to all their suppliers of proper training for those using the hoists.

    An emphasis from the below recommendations as a result of the investigation into this accident are endorsed by Morton&Perry.

    • use permanently attached (as opposed to portable) ceiling hoists where reasonably practicable
    • ensure manufacturer instructions for installation, use, maintenance and cleaning of hoists are followed in the workplace
    • provide information, instruction and training to employees and contractors on how to
    • properly connect, check and use hoists, and provide supervision as necessary
    • require employees and contractors to undertake pre and post connection checks (and cross checks) of hoist components that are required to lock together during use
    • ensure load ratings are identified and marked on hoist suspension components, and keep records of these ratings at the workplace
    • arrange regular inspection, testing and maintenance of hoists – it may be necessary to
    • engage a third-party service provider who has expertise in hoist inspection and maintenance
    • withdraw and dispose of damaged, worn or faulty hoist components

    Morton Perry only use genuine manufactured, tested and certified Molift products, accessories and parts compliant with all NZ & International related standards. In New Zealand We use third party service providers for inspection and maintenance which creates professional distance and avoids conflicts of interest.

    I hope this info has been of use to give some further background and context to the situation. I personally think the portable hoists are a great product for a specific need but have taken further note of the specific cautions above. If your organisation has portable hoists we recommend adding the set up of any portable hoist to mandatory induction then annual training if not already covered.

    Megan Ransley
    Physiotherapist
    Morton&Perry
    Megan@mortonperry.co.nz

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