June 18, 2024 | Terry Smith

How to improve manual handling and reduce sick days in your portering team

When speaking with Portering Managers at acute hospitals, one of the number one concerns we hear you talk about is how to reduce the risk of manual handling injury and the associated issues with sick days and staff shortages. 

So, in this article, we look at three factors you can consider when looking at improving manual handling and reducing sick days in your portering team.

Increasing training

As with a lot of risks, sometimes the best way of reducing the risk of manual handling injury is to increase the training your staff have, both in relation to safe manual handling practice and for the products that they are frequently using. However, we do realise that your staff are very busy, and frequent training may not be possible. 

At Felgains, we offer face-to-face training for the products we provide, such as the TransitFlow Portering Chair, and we ensure that all staff are fully competent and comfortable before leaving equipment on site. 


Choosing ergonomic equipment

When choosing equipment that your portering team will use on a daily basis, such as transport stretchers, chairs and wheelchairs, it’s important to choose equipment that prioritises comfort and good ergonomics for your staff, whilst being easy to use. 

This could look like choosing Portering Chairs with large wheels for ease of pushing, or choosing trolleys with height-adjustable and ergonomic push handles to suit all your staff. 

Features such as fifth wheels also make stretchers and trolleys much easier for staff to manoeuvre around corridors, potentially reducing the potential for strain injury. 


Investing in powered solutions

Bed & stretcher movers

The average hospital bed or stretcher weighs in the region of 150kg. Add an average patient weight of 78kg, and this means that porters are pushing approximately 228kg when moving a bed or trolley around the hospital. When you consider the average hospital in the UK moves hospital beds hundreds of times per day, the obvious strain of this can cause MSIs amongst the portering staff.

By implementing powered bed movers, the bed mover takes the weight of the bed, causing the force on a porter to be virtually eliminated, which removes the risk of MSIs and strain injuries. 

Related article: What are the benefits of implementing powered bed movers in hospitals?

Powered trolleys & chairs

Some trusts also invest in powered trolleys and transit chairs, which take the manual strain of pushing off the porter. 

Many higher-end trolleys, such as Stryker trolleys and the PatientFlow will have the option of adding a powerdrive system to the trolley, and the same goes for Portering Chairs like the TransitFlow

Whilst powered trolleys and chairs will always be more costly than their non-powered counterparts, the benefits that they bring in terms of increasing efficiency and reducing injuries can result in cost savings that, in the long run, will most likely outweigh the extra initial investment.



Related articles

5 Tips For Avoiding Injury When Moving And Handling Patients

Top 5 considerations when buying portering chairs for your hospital

How to implement the TransitFlow portering chair in your hospital




Get in touch

Got a question or want to send us a message? Let’s talk.



Terry Smith

Back to Blog