STATE OF NEW YORK
Cal. No. 120
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
January 9, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. GUNTHER, GOTTFRIED, WEPRIN, RAMOS, PRETLOW, CRES-
PO, BARRETT, ROBINSON, CAHILL, JAFFEE, ENGLEBRIGHT, PEOPLES-STOKES,
SKARTADOS, LIFTON, CYMBROWITZ, GLICK, WEISENBERG, DINOWITZ, SKOUFIS,
TITONE, ROSENTHAL, STECK, RYAN, ROBERTS, ZEBROWSKI, KELLNER, MOYA,
ABBATE, LAVINE, KIM, ABINANTI, SCARBOROUGH, OTIS, MOSLEY, AUBRY,
O'DONNELL, CURRAN, ROSA, GOLDFEDER, HENNESSEY, SANTABARBARA, STIRPE --
Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. ARROYO, BENEDETTO, BORELLI, BOYLAND,
BRAUNSTEIN, BRENNAN, BRINDISI, BRONSON, BROOK-KRASNY, BUCHWALD,
CAMARA, CERETTO, CLARK, COLTON, COOK, CROUCH, DenDEKKER, DIPIETRO,
FAHY, FARRELL, GALEF, GARBARINO, GIGLIO, GRAF, HEASTIE, HEVESI, HOOP-
ER, JACOBS, JOHNS, KEARNS, LENTOL, LUPARDO, LUPINACCI, MAGEE, MAGNAR-
ELLI, MARKEY, MAYER, McDONOUGH, McKEVITT, MILLER, MILLMAN, MONTESANO,
NOLAN, PAULIN, PERRY, QUART, RA, RAIA, RIVERA, ROZIC, RUSSELL, SCHI-
MEL, SEPULVEDA, SIMANOWITZ, SIMOTAS, SOLAGES, STEC, SWEENEY, TEDISCO,
THIELE, WALTER, WEINSTEIN, WRIGHT -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Health -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- reported and
referred to the Committee on Codes -- reported and referred to the
Committee on Ways and Means -- reported from committee, advanced to a
third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on
the order of third reading -- advanced to a third reading, amended and
ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third reading
AN ACT to amend the public health law and the education law, in relation
to a safe patient handling policy for health care facilities
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "safe
2 patient handling act".
3 § 2. Article 29-D of the public health law is amended by adding a new
4 title 1-A to read as follows:
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 2180--C 2
1 TITLE 1-A
2 SAFE PATIENT HANDLING POLICY
3 Section 2997-g. Legislative intent.
4 2997-h. Definitions.
5 2997-i. Statewide safe patient handling work group.
6 2997-j. Statewide safe patient handling policy.
7 2997-k. Health care facility safe patient handling committees.
8 2997-l. Enforcement.
9 § 2997-g. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds and
10 declares that it is in the public interest to enact a statewide safe
11 patient handling policy for health care facilities in New York state.
12 Without safe patient handling legislation, it is predicted that the
13 demand for nursing services will exceed the supply by nearly thirty
14 percent by the year two thousand twenty thus decreasing the quality of
15 health care in New York state. There are many benefits that can be
16 derived from safe patient handling programs. Patients benefit through
17 improved quality of care and quality of life by reducing the risk of
18 falls, being dropped, friction burns, skin tears and bruises. Caregivers
19 benefit from the reduced risk of career ending and debilitating injuries
20 leading to increased morale, improved job satisfaction and longevity in
21 the profession. Health care facilities realize a quick return on their
22 investment through reduced workers' compensation medical and indemnity
23 costs, reduced lost workdays and improved recruitment and retention of
24 caregivers. All of this will lead to fiscal improvement in health care
25 in New York state.
26 § 2997-h. Definitions. For the purposes of this title:
27 1. "Health care facility" shall mean any individual, partnership,
28 association, corporation, limited liability company or any person or
29 group of persons acting directly or indirectly on behalf of or in the
30 interest of an employer that provides health care services in a facility
31 licensed or operated pursuant to article twenty-eight, twenty-eight-A of
32 this chapter, article eight or title eight of the education law, article
33 nineteen-G of the executive law, the correction law, or facilities oper-
34 ated by the state as defined in article seven, thirteen or nineteen of
35 the mental hygiene law including any facility operated by the state or a
36 public benefit corporation as defined by section sixty-six of the gener-
37 al construction law; provided that the provisions of this title shall
38 not apply to any facility operated or funded by any municipal corpo-
39 ration, as defined in section two of the general municipal law, except
40 that such provisions shall apply to facilities licensed or operated by
41 any political subdivision of the state pursuant to article twenty-eight
42 or twenty-eight-A of this chapter.
43 2. "Nurse" shall mean a registered professional nurse or a licensed
44 practical nurse as defined by article one hundred thirty-nine of the
45 education law.
46 3. "Direct care worker" shall mean any employee of a health care
47 facility that is responsible for patient handling or patient assessment
48 as a regular or incidental part of their employment, including any
49 licensed or unlicensed health care worker.
50 4. "Employee representative" shall mean the recognized or certified
51 collective bargaining agent for nurses or direct care workers of a
52 health care facility.
53 5. "Safe patient handling" shall mean the use of engineering controls,
54 lifting and transfer aids, or assistive devices, by nurses or direct
55 care workers transferring and repositioning of health care patients and
56 residents in health care facilities.
A. 2180--C 3
1 6. (a) "Facility safe patient handling policy" shall include:
2 (i) a written policy statement; and
3 (ii) management commitment and employee involvement; and
4 (iii) committees; and
5 (iv) a facility safe patient handling program.
6 (b) "Facility safe patient handling program" shall include:
7 (i) risk assessments; and
8 (ii) incident investigation; and
9 (iii) recommendations regarding procurement of engineering controls,
10 lifting and transfer aids or assistive devices to ensure safe patient
11 handling; and
12 (iv) employee training and education on safe patient handling; and
13 (v) program evaluation and modification.
14 § 2997-i. Statewide safe patient handling work group. 1. A statewide
15 safe patient handling work group is hereby created within the depart-
16 ment. Such work group shall consist of, at minimum, the commissioner or
17 his or her designee; the commissioner of labor or his or her designee;
18 representatives of health care organizations, representatives from
19 employee organizations representing nurses and representatives from
20 employee organizations representing direct care workers; representatives
21 who are certified ergonomist evaluation specialists and representatives
22 who have experience in occupational health and safety.
23 2. Work group members shall receive no compensation for their
24 services, but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses
25 incurred in the performance of their duties.
26 3. The work group shall be established no later than January first,
27 two thousand fifteen.
28 4. The work group shall:
29 (a) prepare a statewide policy statement outlining the requirement of
30 a comprehensive safe patient handling program to be implemented at all
31 health care facilities, as defined in subdivision one of section twen-
32 ty-nine hundred ninety-seven-h of this title. The policy statement
33 shall outline the requirements for developing and implementing a safe
34 patient handling program that must include all elements specified in
35 subdivision six of section twenty-nine hundred ninety-seven-h of this
37 (b) review existing safe patient handling programs or policies,
38 including demonstration programs previously authorized by chapter seven
39 hundred thirty-eight of the laws of two thousand five;
40 (c) consult with any organization, educational institution, other
41 government entity or agency or person;
42 (d) identify or develop training materials and procedures with regard
43 to the equipment or technology recommended by the statewide policy;
44 (e) review rules and regulations prior to adoption by the department;
45 (f) review and update the policy statement on a bi-annual basis;
46 (g) serve as a resource for the health care facilities' safe patient
47 handling committees, pursuant to section twenty-nine hundred ninety-sev-
48 en-k of this title;
49 (h) engage in consultation and make recommendations related to the
50 feasibility of establishing a statewide safe patient handling policy
51 applicable to health care facilities licensed or operated pursuant to
52 article thirty-six of this chapter; and
53 (i) submit a report to the commissioner by July first, two thousand
54 fifteen identifying safe patient handling program elements and recommen-
55 dations of safe patient lifting equipment, techniques or devices.
A. 2180--C 4
1 5. All state departments, commissions, agencies and public authorities
2 shall provide the work group with any reasonably requested assistance of
3 advice in a timely manner.
4 § 2997-j. Statewide safe patient handling policy. 1. On or before
5 January first, two thousand sixteen the commissioner, in consultation
6 with the work group, shall promulgate and disseminate rules, regulations
7 and a statewide safe patient handling policy to health care facilities
8 covered by this title.
9 2. The statewide safe patient handling policy shall include recommen-
10 dations regarding the appropriate utilization of safe patient handling
11 equipment and strategies; and to facilitate patients and residents
12 reaching the highest practical functional level while simultaneously
13 providing for the safety of the patients and the health care worker. The
14 statewide safe patient handling policy shall include recommended stand-
15 ards with regard to:
16 (a) the equipment, devices or technology to be considered by the
17 health care facilities' safe patient handling committees, pursuant to
18 subdivision two of section twenty-nine hundred ninety-seven-k of this
19 title, and their use by a nurse or direct care worker who is engaged in
20 patient handling;
21 (b) the ratio of such equipment or technology based upon the type of
22 facility, the number of beds in a facility, the number of patient-han-
23 dling tasks, types of care units, patient populations, and patient care
25 (c) the minimum number of devices to ensure that current assessed
26 hazards are eliminated or mitigated;
27 (d) establishing procedures for the submission and reporting of
28 compliance by each health care facility covered by this title;
29 (e) establishing procedures for complaints or violations, including
30 the filing process, review, and evaluation and corrective action of such
32 (f) procedures regarding the management of circumstances that may
33 result in unsafe patient handling; and
34 (g) appropriate utilization of engineering controls, lifting and
35 transfer aids or assistive devices as it relates to the mobilization and
36 handling needs of patients and residents, including whether use of such
37 devices is consistent with a patient's or resident's plan of care or
39 3. Each health care facility shall file with the department by July
40 first, two thousand sixteen a detailed plan to comply with this title.
41 The department shall accept such plan by July first, two thousand seven-
42 teen. However, effective July first, two thousand seventeen, each facil-
43 ity as defined in subdivisions two and three of section twenty-eight
44 hundred one of this chapter and each facility as defined in article
45 twenty-eight-A of this chapter shall keep on file at the facility a
46 detailed plan to comply with this title and make such plan available at
47 their annual department survey and upon request to the facility safe
48 patient handling committee established pursuant to section twenty-nine
49 hundred ninety-seven-k of this title.
50 4. Grants to approved organizations. (a) The commissioner shall make
51 grants within the amounts appropriated to approved organizations for the
52 provision of services or equipment relating to the implementation of the
53 safe patient handling act. Such services and equipment shall include but
54 not be limited to:
55 (i) training; and
56 (ii) mechanical lifts.
A. 2180--C 5
1 (b) The commissioner shall give notice and provide opportunity to
2 submit applications to implement safe patient handling programs. In
3 order to be considered for a grant to implement a safe patient handling
4 program applicants must show evidence of the following:
5 (i) financial need;
6 (ii) a plan approved by the department; and
7 (iii) previous implementation strategies.
8 Applications shall be made on forms provided by the commissioner.
9 § 2997-k. Health care facility safe patient handling committees. 1.
10 Each health care facility shall establish a safe patient handling
11 committee either by creating a new committee or assigning the powers and
12 duties to an existing committee. At least one-half of the members of
13 the safe patient handling committee shall be frontline non-managerial
14 nurses or direct care workers. At least one non-managerial nurse and one
15 non-managerial direct care worker shall be on the safe patient handling
16 committee. In health care facilities where a resident council is estab-
17 lished, and where feasible, at least one member of the safe patient
18 handling committee shall be a representative from the resident council.
19 The committee shall have two co-chairs with one from management and one
20 frontline non-managerial nurse or direct care worker.
21 2. The safe patient handling committee shall: (a) set criteria for
22 evaluation of patients and/or residents to determine which lift and/or
23 repositioning equipment, devices or technology are to be used; and for
24 performance of risk assessments of the environment, job tasks and
25 patient needs;
26 (b) establish procedures to ensure lift and/or repositioning equipment
27 is set up, used and maintained according to manufacturer's instructions;
28 (c) provide initial and on-going yearly training and education on safe
29 patient handling for current employees and new hires, and establish
30 procedures to ensure that retraining for those found to be deficient is
31 provided as needed;
32 (d) set up and utilize a process for incident investigation and post-
33 investigation review which may include a plan of correction and imple-
34 mentation of controls;
35 (e) make recommendations for the acquisition of equipment or proce-
36 dures beyond the minimum state recommendations;
37 (f) perform an annual program assessment and evaluation; and
38 (g) appropriate utilization of engineering controls, lifting and
39 transfer aids or assistive devices as it relates to the mobilization and
40 handling needs of patients and residents, including whether use of such
41 devices is consistent with a patient's or resident's plan of care or
43 § 2997-l. Enforcement. 1. Any nurse or direct care worker or employee
44 representative who believes the health care facility has not met the
45 standards set forth in this title shall bring the matter to the atten-
46 tion of the health care facility in the form of a written notice and
47 shall afford the health care facility a reasonable opportunity to
48 correct such deficiencies. Such written notice need not be provided
49 where the nurse or direct care worker or employee representative reason-
50 ably believes that the failure to meet standards of the facility policy
51 presents an imminent threat to the safety of a specific nurse or direct
52 care worker, or to the general health of a specific patient; in such
53 instance the nurse or direct care worker shall make a good faith effort
54 to ensure patient safety and bring the matter to the attention of the
55 facility and the department in the manner set forth in the facility
A. 2180--C 6
1 2. In the event that the health care facility receiving written notice
2 pursuant to subdivision one of this section does not take corrective
3 action within sixty days, or in the event that notice of a failure to
4 meet standards is not required pursuant to subdivision one of this
5 section, a nurse or direct care worker shall have the right to refuse to
6 engage in patient handling until the health care facility has adequately
7 addressed the specific failure to meet standards. Upon refusal, such
8 nurse or direct care worker or his or her representative shall file a
9 complaint to the department in the manner set forth in the statewide
10 safe patient handling policy.
11 3. No employer shall take retaliatory action against any nurse or
12 direct care worker for raising concerns or issues regarding safe patient
13 handling, filing a complaint or refusing to engage in patient handling.
14 4. Nurses and direct care workers, as defined in section twenty-nine
15 hundred ninety-seven-h of this title shall be considered employees for
16 the purposes of section seven hundred forty-one of the labor law.
17 5. The department and the department of labor shall publish and make
18 public which health care facilities are in compliance with this title.
19 § 3. The education law is amended by adding a new section 6510-f to
20 read as follows:
21 § 6510-f. Facility safe patient handling policy. The refusal of a
22 licensed or unlicensed health care worker to engage in patient handling
23 which is not consistent with the facility's safe patient handling policy
24 shall not be considered professional misconduct and shall not constitute
25 patient abandonment or neglect. The refusal of a licensed or unlicensed
26 health care worker to engage in patient handling shall not constitute
27 patient abandonment or neglect if such worker has, in a manner consist-
28 ent with article twenty-nine-D of the public health law and the rules
29 and regulations promulgated pursuant to such article, refused a patient
30 handling assignment and filed a complaint with the department of health.
31 § 4. This act shall take effect October 1, 2014.