DOH Safe Patient Handling Workgroup

Nancy Leveille in Clinical & Quality

Nancy Leveille, NYSHFA, has been actively participating in the DOH’s Safe Patient Handling (SPH) workgroup over the last month. This workgroup is led by Lisa Ullman at DOH and its’ purpose is to assist in the enactment of Public Health Law Article 29-D. Title 1-A enacted by Chapter 60 of the Laws of 2014, Part A, 20-12. The workgroup’s task is to develop a report of best practices and recommendations to ensure safety of patients and staff through proper utilization of body mechanics and equipment as patients are transferred, ambulated and positioned in chairs and their beds. The goals are:

  • To reduce injury to patients, leading to improvements in quality of care and quality of life
  • To reduce risk of injury to caregivers, increasing morale, job satisfaction and professional longevity
  • To return on investment to health care facilities through reduced worker’s compensation medical and indemnity costs, reduced lost workdays, and improved recruitment and retention of caregivers

Two good resources available now are:

  1. The New York State Zero Lift Task Force:  this is an organization made up of healthcare workers, administrators, patient advocates, union representatives and safety and health professionals that want to ensure the health and safety of all patients and healthcare workers in New York State. They have a variety of materials available for free under their SPH Program Resource page and are hosting two conferences this year on Safe Patient Handling. One is June 30, 2015 at Mount Sinai Selkoff Centers for Occupational Health in NYC and the second one is on October 28-29, 2015 at the Saratoga Springs City Center, Saratoga, NY. Please go to their website for registration information and review of the variety of resources at
  2. The Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH):  this is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending workers' rights to a safe and healthy work environment through outreach, advocacy and education, and to improve the working conditions of all workers. Their website is: and also provides many good resources for free.

In the next couple months, NYSHFA will continue to update members on the outcome of the SPH workgroup’s final report and additional resources to assist in complying with the Safe Patient Handling Act. SNF, hospitals and home care agencies will need to begin implementation of their SPH program work on January 1, 2016.


Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Sr. Director, Member Operational Support
518-462-4800 x20