Toolkit / Guidebook

The Cal/OSHA Safe Patient Handling Regulation

Health Care Worker Back and Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Law
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Safe patient handling has been a focus of the health care community for nearly a decade. On June 19, 2014, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board adopted the much-anticipated Safe Patient Handling regulation. The regulation becomes effective on Oct. 1, 2014.

This guidebook explains the requirements of the Safe Patient Handling regulation, the elements of a back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan, how to implement a plan in your facility, and what to expect regarding enforcement. The guidebook also provides resources helpful to compliance.

The Cal/OSHA Safe Patient Handling Regulation guidebook is intended to help hospital management understand the requirements of the law and implement it. It is written specifically for California’s hospital human resources executives, employee relations managers, chief operating officers, chief nursing officers, legal counsel, risk managers and department directors.                         

(First Edition, August 2014)


  • Who Must Comply With This Law?
  • Definitions
  • Back and Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Plan
  • Lift Teams/Designated Health Care Workers
  • Training Requirements
  • Documentation Requirements
  • Anti-Retaliation Protections
  • Reporting Occupational Injuries
  • State Agency Enforcement
  • Common Deficiencies
  • Resources
  • Checklist: How to Get Started
  • Forms and Appendixes include documentation forms for training and investigation, as well as the new Cal/OSHA regulations and California safe patient handling statutes

Forms Policy

CHA includes hard copies of forms and appendices in its manuals for all purchasers. Electronic versions of forms, appendices, and the model compliance plan are available to CHA members for download at

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