443 Lafayette Road N. St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 www.doli.state.mn.

us

(651) 284-5005 1-800-DIAL-DLI TTY: (651) 297-4198

October 2007

Dear Employer:

On May 25, 2007, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a bill into law that enacted the Safe Patient Handling Act (Minnesota Statutes 182.6551 through 182.6553). The bill requires licensed health care facilities1 in Minnesota to adopt a written safe patient handling policy and to establish a safe patient handling committee by July 1, 2008. The written policy must establish a plan to minimize manual lifting of patients by Jan. 1, 2011, through the use of safe patient handling equipment. The law sets out in more detail the issues the policy must address and the requirements for safe patient handling committees. The law assigns to the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Department of Labor and Industry responsibility for enforcing this new law. Facilities determined by the commissioner to be experiencing financial hardship will have until July 1, 2012, to comply with the Safe Patient Handling requirements. Facilities affected by this law are encouraged to begin preparing for the provisions as soon as possible to meet the established deadlines. The law provides for a Safe Patient Handling grant program of $500,000 to be administered by the department. The purpose of the grant program is to provide assistance to health care facilities with the purchase of (1) safe patient handling equipment, (2) training on safe patient handling, and (3) training on safe patient handling equipment. The total grant amount awarded will be for a dollar-for-dollar match up to $40,000. For health care facilities that provide evidence of financial hardship, the commissioner may waive the 50 percent match requirements and may grant such a facility more than $40,000, as defined in the application. A state grant agreement, with its required assurances will be executed between the commissioner and the grantees prior to the purchase of safe patient handling equipment, training on safe patient handling, and training on safe patient handling equipment. The Safe Patient Handling grant application form is available at www.doli.state.mn.us/safe_patienthandling.html. Grant applications will be available beginning October 19, 2007 through December 7, 2007 at 4:30 p.m., and awards will be made in January 2008.

Sincerely,

Jeff Isakson, Director MNOSHA Compliance

James Collins MNOSHA Management Team Director

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MN Stat. §182.6552, subd. 2. Health care facility. “Health care facility” means a hospital as defined in section 144.50, subdivision 2; an outpatient surgical center as defined in section 144.55, subdivision 2; and a nursing home as defined in section 144A.01, subdivision 5.
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