Safety Alert Regarding Patient Lifts

July, 2001

Information Bulletin 01-19

Safety Alert Regarding Patient Lifts


In September, 2000, the Department issued Information Bulletin 00-23 regarding a specific make and model of electric patient lift. Additional information about this particular lift was provided in Information Bulletin 00-31, dated November 2000. The Department has now received information indicating that other makes and models of patient lifts are experiencing significant wear at the assembly that attaches the spreader bar to the boom. Failure of any part of this assembly could result in the spreader bar suddenly detaching from the boom. The spreader bar, also referred to as the swivel bar, supports the sling.

There are many different designs of spreader bar assemblies. Each part of each design has a life expectancy. It is recommended that the person responsible for routine inspection and maintenance of lifts be fully aware of each design at the facility and how the various parts interact to retain the spreader bar in place. In some cases, the area(s) experiencing wear are not readily visible and disassembly may be required to fully inspect the parts.

The Department recommends that facilities contact the manufacturer(s) of their patient lifts to determine "normal" life expectancy of parts and method(s) for proper inspection of the lifts. If inspection of the lift indicates wear, the manufacturer can assist the facility in assuring that their lifts are equipped with the most up-to-date spreader bar assembly.

If you have any questions regarding this Information Bulletin, please contact in writing:

Minnesota Department of Health
Health Regulation Division
Licensing and Certification Program
85 East Seventh Place, Suite 300
P.O. Box 64900
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0900
Telephone: (651) 201-3710

Thursday, February 05, 2015 at 03:42PM