Ergonomics: OSHA Resources

Ergonomics: Guidelines for Nursing Homes

Section VI. Additional Sources of Information

The following sources may be useful to those seeking further information about ergonomics and the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in nursing homes.

A Back Injury Prevention Guide for Health Care Providers, Cal/OSHA Consultation Programs, (800) 963-9424,
This guide discusses the scope of the back injury problem in health care, how to analyze the workplace, how to identify and implement improvements, and how to evaluate results. It includes checklists that can assist in analyzing the work environment.

Patient Care Ergonomics Resource Guide: Safe Patient Handling and Movement, Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, Veterans Health Administration and Department of Defense, (813) 558-3902,
This document describes a comprehensive program developed to prevent MSDs related to resident lifting and repositioning. It includes assessment criteria and flowcharts for selecting equipment and techniques for safe lifting and repositioning based on resident characteristics.

Resident Assessment Instrument, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS),
This document is used by many nursing homes to evaluate resident needs and capabilities.

Elements of Ergonomics Programs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (800) 356 4674,
The basic elements of a workplace program aimed at preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders are described in this document. It includes a "toolbox," which is a collection of techniques, methods, reference materials, and sources for other information that can help in program development.

In addition, OSHA's Training Institute in Arlington Heights, Illinois, offers courses on various safety and health topics, including ergonomics. Courses are also offered through Training Institute Education Centers located throughout the country. For a schedule of courses, contact the OSHA Training Institute, 2020 South Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60005, (847) 297-4810, or visit OSHA's training resources webpage at

There are many states and territories that operate their own occupational safety and health programs under a plan approved by OSHA (23 cover both private sector, state and local government employees, and three only cover public employees). Information is available on OSHA's Website at on how to contact a state plan directly for information about specific state nursing home initiatives and compliance assistance, or state standards that may apply to nursing homes.

A free consultation service is available to provide occupational safety and health assistance to businesses. OSHA Consultation is funded primarily by federal OSHA but delivered by the 50 state governments, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The states offer the expertise of highly qualified occupational safety and health professionals to employers who request help to establish and maintain a safe and healthful workplace. Developed for small and medium-sized employers in hazardous industries or with hazardous operations, the service is provided at no cost to the employer and is confidential. Information on OSHA Consultation can be found at, or by requesting the booklet Consultation Services for the Employer (OSHA 3047) from OSHA's Publications Office at (202) 693-1888.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

Updated on: 12/10/09
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Ergonomics: Nursing Home Case Study
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Ergonomics: Nursing Home Case Study

Wyandot County Nursing Home was used in OSHA's case study. The study used a process that reflects many of OSHA's guidelines.
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