A resolution supporting OSHA’s ergonomics guidelines for nursing homes and encouraging such facilities to use alternative mechanical lifting methods was unanimously approved on Thursday by the Workers' Compensation Committee at the spring National Conference of Insurance Legislators, according toInsurance Journal.

Senator Ann Cummings, D-VT, sponsor of the NCOIL resolution, chaired the committee meeting.

OSHA's guidelines are designed to reduce ergonomic-related injuries and workers' compensation claims in the nursing home industry. OSHA's goals are to develop a process to protect workers; identify problems and implement solutions for resident lifting and repositioning; identify problems and implement solutions for activities other than resident lifting and repositioning; and training.

Although the guidelines are aimed specifically at the nursing home industry, OSHA hopes employers with similar work environments, such as assisted-living centers, homes for the disabled or aged, and hospitals will also find the information useful.

Cummings emphasized that the guidelines are a set of recommendations, not standards or laws, for reducing the number and severity of work-related injuries and associated workers' compensation insurance costs.

OSHA says that specific measures or guideline implementations may differ from site to site but recommends that all facilities minimize manual lifting of residents in all cases and eliminate such lifting when feasible.