How to use patient hoist weighing scales correctly

Published On: 21st January 2021

Scale attachments used on hoists, sometimes called hoist weighing scales are a great solution. Particularly for patients and service users who are unable to sit on a chair scale or stand on a floor scale. This article covers how to use hoist weighing scales correctly and record accurate readings every time.

The first benefit of a hoist scale is that patients and service users do not need to be able to sit or stand to be weighed. A hoist weighing scale attaches to a hoist spreader bar, therefore allowing service users to be weighed in a hoisted position.

The second benefit of hoist scales (such as the type shown below) is they can be used on many different hoists due to the design of the attachment chain links. However, this can also cause issues because you can get different readings when using different hoists. This can mislead care staff into thinking that the hoist scales are giving inaccurate readings. More importantly that service users have gained or lost weight.

How to use hoist weighing scales correctly

If you are facing this challenge, the video below provides guidance on how to overcome this.

Why can hoist weighing scales give you different weights?

When using hoist weighing scales, you may find the equipment is giving different weight readings for the same individual. We have found this mainly occurs when the hoist scale is used on several hoists.

Different hoists will have different fixing points due to the varying size of spreader bars. This causes the chain links on the hoist scale to pull in different angles. When this happens, it changes the direction of pull in the load cells and so can give a different reading.

The best way to get comparable results is to make sure you always use the same hoist scale on the same spreader bar when weighing individuals. You may wish to note this information in the patient or service user’s care plan. This will reduce the likelihood of recording inaccurate results.


If you are concerned about the readings your hoist scale is giving, contact our support team who will be able to help.

If you are considering weighing scales for your care setting and not sure which ones to choose, check out the article Things to consider when choosing weighing scales.