Preventing injuries using an ergonomic approach

AORN J. 2000 Dec;72(6):1031-6. doi: 10.1016/s0001-2092(06)61908-x.


The risk of back injury is a continuing problem for nurses. Patient-handling tasks (e.g., transferring patients on and off stretchers, repositioning patients on OR beds) are a major precipitating factor to this problem. Educating nurses about body mechanics has not been the answer to preventing back injuries; however, changing the physical demands of the job (i.e., using an ergonomic approach) by using assistive devices (e.g., friction reducers) has been proven to decrease perceived stress and injury rates and increase patient comfort. This article focuses on the problem of nurses' back and shoulder overexertion injuries and explores the application of ergonomics in the perioperative setting.

MeSH terms

  • Back Injuries / etiology
  • Back Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Back Pain / etiology
  • Back Pain / prevention & control
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Ergonomics*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Lifting* / adverse effects
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Perioperative Nursing / methods*
  • Self-Help Devices*
  • United States