Key questions to ask suppliers of ergo devices

In its draft ergonomics guidelines for nursing homes, OSHA offers these questions to aid employers in the selection of a supplier of ergonomic equipment:

  • Availability of technical service — Is over-the-phone assistance, as well as on-site assistance, for repairs and service of the lift available?
  • Availability of parts — Which parts will be in stock and available in a short time frame, and how soon can they be shipped to your location?
  • Storage ability of the mechanical lift — Is it too big for your facility? Can it be stored in close proximity to the area(s) where it is used?
  • If needed, are a charging unit and back-up battery included?
  • What is the simplicity of the charging unit and space required for a battery charger if one is needed?
  • If the lift has a self-contained charging unit, what is the amount of space necessary for charging, and what electrical receptacles are required?
  • What is the minimum charging time of a battery?
  • How high is the base of the lift, and will it fit under the bed and various other pieces of furniture?
  • How wide is the base of the lift, or is it adjustable to a wider and lockable position? How many people are required to operate the lift for lifting of a typical 200-pound person?
  • Does the lift activation device have remote capabilities?
  • How many sizes and types of slings are available?
  • What type of sling is available for optimum infection control?
  • Is the device versatile? Can it be a sit-to-stand lift, as well as a lift device? Can it be a sit-to-stand lift and an ambulation-assist device?
  • What is the speed and noise level of the device?
  • Will the lift go to floor level? How high will it go?