Federal Legislation

A National Bill, the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2013 (HR 2480), was introduced on June 25, 2013 that, if passed, would establish a “safe patient handling, mobility, and injury prevention standard” to “reduce injuries to patients, nurses, and all other health care workers” through the following requirements:


  • Require a Safe Patient Handling Plan
  • Require Employers to Purchase, Use and Maintain Equipment
  • Require Employers to Obtain Input from Registered Nurses and Healthcare Workers
  • Require Employers to Maintain Data on Injuries Related to the Safe Patient Handling Standard
  • Require Employers to Consider Incorporation of Technology Into New Facility Design
  • Require Employers to Educate and Train Healthcare Workers on Policies, Technology and Equipment
  • Require Posting of Information and Rights
  • Requires Employer to Perform Annual Evaluation of Program
  • Requires Employer to Provide Procedures Under Which Healthcare Workers May Refuse an Unsafe Assignment

Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2480) 

State Legislation

Legislation for safe patient handling has been passed in several states across the country, while many other states are actively pursuing bills that will require healthcare facilities to develop safe patient handling programs.

  1. Hawaii House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) No. 16. Enacted April 4, 2006. Covers Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Licensed Home Health Agencies. Issued a resolution supporting the policies contained in the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) “Handle with Care” Campaign.
  2. Texas Senate Bill 1525 Chapter 256. Safe Patient Handling and Movement Practices. Enacted Jan. 1, 2006. Covers Hospitals and Nursing Homes. Requires implementation of a policy and process, analysis of ergonomic risk, education of nurses, evaluation of ways to reduce risk, restriction of manual handling, annual report to the nursing staff committee, refusal procedure, annual report to the governing body, and integration of SPH design considerations into construction or remodeling plans.
    TX SB 1525 text
  3. Washington HB 1672, An Act relating to reducing injuries among patients and healthcare workers. Enacted March 8, 2006. Covers Hospitals. Required hospitals to have a safe patient handling committee by 2/1/2007. Required hospitals to have a safe patient handling program by 12/1/2007. By 1/30/2010 hospitals must complete acquisition of the appropriate safe patient handling equipment. The Department of Labor and Industry will complete and report evaluations of program effectiveness by 12/1/2010 and 12/1/2012.
    ESHB 1672 text
  4. Rhode Island H 7386 and S 2760 Safe Patient Handling Act of 2006. Enacted July 7, 2006. Covers Licensed Health Care Facilities. Required licensed health care facilities to have a safe patient handling policy in place by 1/1/2007 and full implementation of safe lift policies by 7/1/2007. Requires a safe patient handling committee with composition and responsibilities defined in the legislation.
  5. Maryland SB 879, Safe Patient Handling; HB 1137, Hospitals – Safe Patient Handling. Enacted April 1, 2007. Covers Hospitals. Requires each hospital to establish a safe patient lifting committee by 12/1/2007 and a safe patient lifting policy by 7/1/2008. The committee has composition and responsibilities defined in the legislation.
    MD HB 1137 text
    MD SB 879 text
  6. Minnesota HB 712.2, Safe Patient Handling. Enacted May 1, 2007. Covers Hospitals, Outpatient Surgical Centers, and Nursing Homes. Required facilities to develop a written safe patient handling policy and establish a safe patient handling committee by 7/1/2008 and establish the facility’s plan by 1/1/2011. Establishes a safe patient handling grant program.
  7. New Jersey Safe Patient Handling Act, P.L. 2007, Chapter 225, S.1758. Enacted January 3, 2008. Covers Licensed General of Special Hospitals or Nursing Homes. Required a safe patient handling committee by 1/03/2009. Required safe patient handling programs to be implemented by 1/03/2011. Required the development of rules and regulations by the Commission of health and senior services to carry out the purposes of the act. These were published on 9/06/2011. These rules are more detailed than the act.
    NJ SPH Act text
  8. Illinois Public Act 096-0398 and then Public Act 097-0122 Amending The Hospital Licensing Act Sec. 6.25. Safe Patient Policy. Enacted Jan. 1, 2010 and July 14, 2011. Covers Hospitals. Amendments to the Hospital Licensing Act relating to safe patient handling policies introducing language that: sets forth definitions for safe lifting equipment, accessories , and safe lifting team; makes changes to the provision concerning the minimum requirements regarding strategies to control the risk of injuries to patients, nurses, and other health care workers associated with the lifting transferring, repositioning and/or movement of a patient IL
  9. California AB 1136, Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act and New Section 5120. Enacted October 7, 2011 and June 19, 2014. Covers Hospitals. Requires hospitals to develop a written safe patient handling policy by January 1/1/2013. Requires employers to adopt a patient protection and health care worker back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan as part of their injury and illness prevention program (IIPP). The New Section 5120 fleshed in around the bones of the basic requirements of AB 1136. It was developed with stakeholder involvement, including significant input from ASPHP Board and general members.
    CA AB 1136 text
  10. Missouri 19 CSR 30-20.097, Patient Handling and Movement in Hospitals. Enacted October 13, 2011. Covers Hospitals. Requires hospitals to develop a safe patient handling and movement and committee and program. The committee has composition and responsibilities defined in the legislation. The program must consist of a written policy, patient handling hazard assessment, a process which assesses patient’s needs for safe patient handling and movement equipment, educational materials for patients and their families, annual evaluation, and evidence of changes based on the annual evaluation. All employees involved in patient handling and movement must be trained and demonstrate competence. This CSR was effective 11/30/2011.
  11. Ohio HB 67, Section 4121.48 BWC Safety GRANT$. Enacted March 21, 2005. Covers Long Term Care. Established a loan program through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to provide assistance to extended-care facilities to help reduce CTDs in the workplace. The loan may be used to enhance the safe patient handling program.
  12. New York Section 20, Article 29-D of the Public Health Law amended by adding a new Title 1-A, Safe Patient Handling. Enacted March 31, 2014. Covers Hospitals, Residential Health Care Facilities, Diagnostic and Treatment Centers, Clinics. Require establishment of safe patient handling committees by 1/01/2016, require establishment of a safe patient handling programs by 1/01/2017. Also establishes a Safe Patient Handling Workgroup within the Department of Public Health by 01/01/2015.

State legislation posted with permission:
Source Safety and Health, Inc.