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Pass legislation protecting patients and medical staff

Safe patient handling, meaning lifting equipment in the context of a properly administered safe lifting program, has been shown to protect patients from a range of injuries, extend the careers of our trained health care workers and save money for hospitals and all of us who are paying for health insurance.

A 2007 Bureau of Labor Statistics study concluded that six of the top 10 most dangerous occupations for back injury are found in hospitals. Nurses are more than twice as likely as truck drivers and construction workers to be injured on the job.

The Safe Patient Handling Bill passed this year in the New York State Assembly but died in the New York State Senate. Although a majority of senators were cosponsors of the bill, the New York State Senate leadership refused to bring it to the floor for a vote. This is a profound example of dysfunction in Albany, and the Senate leadership should be held accountable.

We must and we will continue to fight for passage of this life-saving legislation.

Terri Legierski

Political Director, Communications

Workers of America Local 1133

Buffalo