The Importance of Slings in the Manual Handling and Accreditation Process

When it comes to slings, Resident and Carer safety is pivotal in the Aged Care environment. Although Slings are an optimal and necessary care tool to move and transfer your resident, the size of the sling is often miss-applied, therefore making the purpose completely redundant.

With the varying sizes and profiles of residents in the Aged Care Sector, there is often a misconception that a universal set of slings can apply.

When the Sling is too small, resident comfort is compromised. But just as importantly, shearing on the skin becomes an added risk. In Figure 1.0, our Aged Care Consultant has been fitted with a sling that is too small. If you look closely, the sling is tight up against the leg, this putting pressure on the leg and increasing the risk of shearing. We also note that following issues arise:

  • Poor Weight Distribution
  • Unnecessary Pressure increasing the risk of a Pressure Injury
  • Pressure on can cause circulation issues.

Additionally, a sling that is too large creates a serious OH&S risk of the Resident actually falling through the front of the sling when being transferred. With the height in which the hoist can go to, the resident falling from the sling could incur a serious injury, trauma or even death.

Resident Confidence, however, is something that can’t be portrayed in this image. If they do not feel secure, they lose confidence and risk becoming agitated, which will only add extra difficulty to the Manual Handling and/or transfer. Also, if the resident is too tall, he or she’s vision may be hindered the by the hoist. This will have the exact same result.

The life of the sling is also a crucial factor that can hinder the Aged Care accreditation process. With the age of a sling sometimes not marked on the sling, it can actually go against the Australian Standards.