Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Factors. 2016 Sep;58(6):927-43. doi: 10.1177/0018720816644083. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

External Hand Forces Exerted by Long-Term Care Staff to Push Floor-Based Lifts: Effects of Flooring System and Resident Weight.

Author information

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, CanadaOlder Adult Program, Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, CanadaSimon Fraser University, Burnaby Canada
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, CanadaOlder Adult Program, Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, CanadaSimon Fraser University, Burnaby Canada.
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada.
Older Adult Program, Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, Canada.
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Canada.



The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of flooring type and resident weight on external hand forces required to push floor-based lifts in long-term care (LTC).


Novel compliant flooring is designed to reduce fall-related injuries among LTC residents but may increase forces required for staff to perform pushing tasks. A motorized lift may offset the effect of flooring on push forces.


Fourteen female LTC staff performed straight-line pushes with two floor-based lifts (conventional, motor driven) loaded with passengers of average and 90th-percentile resident weights over four flooring systems (concrete+vinyl, compliant+vinyl, concrete+carpet, compliant+carpet). Initial and sustained push forces were measured by a handlebar-mounted triaxial load cell and compared to participant-specific tolerance limits. Participants rated pushing difficulty.


Novel compliant flooring increased initial and sustained push forces and subjective ratings compared to concrete flooring. Compared to the conventional lift, the motor-driven lift substantially reduced initial and sustained push forces and perceived difficulty of pushing for all four floors and both resident weights. Participants exerted forces above published tolerance limits only when using the conventional lift on the carpet conditions (concrete+carpet, compliant+carpet). With the motor-driven lift only, resident weight did not affect push forces.


Novel compliant flooring increased linear push forces generated by LTC staff using floor-based lifts, but forces did not exceed tolerance limits when pushing over compliant+vinyl. The motor-driven lift substantially reduced push forces compared to the conventional lift.


Results may help to address risk of work-related musculoskeletal injury, especially in locations with novel compliant flooring.


job risk assessment; manual materials handling; medical devices and technologies; nursing and nursing systems; usability testing and evaluation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center