Ergonomics: Wheel Chair Residents and Transfer Belts

Ergonomics: Guidelines for Nursing Homes

The following are ergonomic solutions for nursing home employees.


weigh wheelchair

Description: Scales with ramp to accommodate wheelchairs; portablepowered lift devices with built-in scales; beds with built-in scales.

When to Use: To reduce the need for additional transfer of partialor non-weight-bearing or totally dependent residents to weighing device.

Points to Remember: Some wheelchair scales can accommodate larger wheelchairs. Built-in bed scales may increase weight of the bed and prevent it from lowering to appropriate work heights.

Transfer from Sitting to Standing Position; Ambulation

transfer belt

Description: Gait belts/transfer belts with handles

When to Use: Transferring residents who are partially dependent, have some weight-bearing capacity, and are cooperative. Transfers such as bed to chair, chair to chair, or chair to car; when repositioning residents in chairs; supporting residents during ambulation; and in some cases when guiding and controlling falls or assisting a resident after a fall.

Points to Remember: More than one caregiver may be needed. Belts with padded handles are easier to grip and increase security and control. Always transfer to resident's strongest side. Use good body mechanics and a rocking and pulling motion rather than lifting when using a belt. Belts may not be suitable for ambulation of heavy residents or residents with recent abdominal or back surgery, abdominal aneurysm, etc. Should not be used for lifting residents. Ensure belt is securely fastened and cannot be easily undone by the resident during transfer. Ensure a layer of clothing is between residents' skin and the belt to avoid abrasion. Keep resident as close as possible to caregiver during transfer. Lower bedrails, remove arms and foot rests from chairs, and other items that may obstruct the transfer.

For use after a fall always assess the resident for injury prior to movement. If resident can regain standing position with minimal assistance, use gait or transfer belts with handles to aid resident. Keep back straight, bend legs, and stay as close to resident as possible. If resident cannot stand with minimal assistance, use a powered portable or ceiling-mounted lift device to move resident.

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

Updated on: 09/07/12
Continue Reading
Ergonomics: Repositioning Nursing Home Residents in Bed
Continue Reading:

Ergonomics: Repositioning Nursing Home Residents in Bed

Ergonomic solutions for nursing home employees about repositioning residents in bed.
Read More