Patient Manual Handling | How to Use a Hoist and Sling Correctly 

Patient Manual Handling | How to Use a Hoist and Sling Correctly 

Published On: 30th July 2019

Accidents can occur if a hoist is not used correctly. Each year, a significant number of incidents are reported in which people have been injured whilst being moved using a hoist or while operating one. 

Manual Handling at Home 

It is crucial that individuals handling/using a hoist to move and transfer a patient have undergone correct training on moving and handling, not only to guard the person being moved but also to reduce the risk of personal injury. 

Back injuries are the most common injury reported by carers and are usually the result of incorrect lifting techniques. The last thing you need when you’re caring for a patient or loved one is to become incapacitated due to injury. 

Many local authorities run manual handling courses for carers. If yours doesn’t, you can apply for a direct payment to cover the cost of attending a course yourself. 

Specific Hoist and Sling Training 

We offer product demonstrations of how to safely use our equipment upon delivery/installation. Just ask us at the point of purchase and we can arrange this for you.

 Important Points:   

  • The hoist must always be positioned on a flat floor — if the floor is uneven, it could cause the hoist to tip during the move 
  • Ensure you use the correct, compatible sling with your hoist. If an incompatible sling is used, it could result in an insecure attachment, leading to an unsecured lift 
  • Choosing the wrong size of sling can also cause problems. For example, if the sling is too small, it will be uncomfortable for the user, and if it is too large, the person could fall or slide out 
  • We recommend that anyone preparing to operate a hoist and sling read the Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guide ‘Getting to grips with hoisting people’.
  • You can also download our checklist for safety check before using a hoist and use to ensure the safe operation of a hoist at home

Hoist and Sling Alternatives 

If you decide that a hoist and sling isn’t quite right for your needs, there are a number of different transfer aids that may be more suitable. 

Standing Aids and Transfer aids are manual products that can be used by a carer or relative to help transfer or move a patient or loved one more easily. However, these require a certain level of strength and mobility from the service user being cared for. 

If you would like help deciding on which product to choose, read our guide on Standing Aids. 

At Medaco, we understand choosing the right equipment for your user’s needs is imperative. That’s why we’re proud to be working in partnership with all commercial manufacturers to bring you the best hoists and slings available. Contact us today to discuss your product needs or book a demo.