The three-year economic benefits of a ceiling lift intervention aimed to reduce healthcare worker injuries

Appl Ergon. 2005 Mar;36(2):223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2004.10.008. Epub 2005 Jan 17.


Ceiling lifts are frequently advocated to mitigate risk of injury to healthcare workers when lifting, transferring, or repositioning patients. A longitudinal case-study was conducted in an extended care facility to evaluate the efficacy of overhead lifts in reducing the risk of injury beyond that previously reported for the first year post-intervention (Am. Assoc. Occup. 50 (3) (2002) 120-127, 128-134). Analysis of injury trends spanning 3 years pre-intervention and 3 years post-intervention, found a significant and sustained decrease in days lost, workers' compensation claims, and direct costs associated with patient handling injuries. The payback period was estimated assuming that pre-intervention injury costs would either continue to increase (0.82 years) or plateau (2.50 years) in the year immediately preceding intervention. The rapid economic gains and sustained reduction in the frequency and cost of patient handling injuries beyond the first year strongly advocate for ceiling lift programs as an intervention strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention / economics*
  • Accident Prevention / instrumentation*
  • Accidents, Occupational / economics*
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Equipment Design
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Lifting* / adverse effects
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / economics*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Musculoskeletal System / injuries*
  • Occupational Diseases / economics*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Sick Leave / economics*
  • Transportation of Patients / methods*