AFT Resolution


WHEREAS, nurses in hospitals, clinics and home care have physically challenging jobs, requiring lifting, pushing and pulling patients who are different sizes, shapes and weight; and

WHEREAS, nurses have a high rate of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries resulting from lifting and the physically demanding work they do; and

WHEREAS, manually lifting and positioning patients put both healthcare workers and patients at high risk for injury, including skin tears, fractures, brain trauma and even death; and

WHEREAS, these injuries result in increased costs to consumers from lawsuits, loss of wages, workers' compensation pay, overtime for replacement workers and turnover rate; and

WHEREAS, the use of mechanical equipment and training of lift teams have been found to be effective in reducing loss of work due to work-related injuries and to be a more efficient and effective way of lifting patients; and

WHEREAS, hospitals and healthcare organizations that have instituted a safe patient handling and transfer policy or a zero-lift program have seen dramatic decreases in injuries to staff and patients, turnover rates, sick time pay, workers' compensation pay and replacement overtime costs:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will assist locals in educating healthcare employers and employees about the advantage of instituting zero-lift safe handling programs; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will educate its members and assist locals in bargaining about the use of mechanical devices and training programs for safe patient care.