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G.8.12 Ergonomic Lifting


Paramedic Services Effective Date: April 30, 2019
Topic: Occupational Health & Safety

Replaces: March 1, 2010

Subject: Ergonmic Lifting Policy No. G.8.12.



To provide personnel with assistive information to help ensure caution when lifting, moving, loading and unloading patients, and equipment.

  • Paramedics
  • Paramedic Superintendents
  • Senior Managers


  • Paramedic Services Vehicles shall be parked in a location that will provide a protected work area for both Paramedics and patients during the provision of care, or for loading and unloading.
  • Travel routes between the vehicle and the patient must, whenever possible be clear of hazards. Making the route safe in advance of transport is optimal.
  • Assistance from allied agencies, or bystanders may maximize safety for patients and personnel.
  • Movement of patients should be performed by way of the most appropriate device, and conscious body posture and techniques as set out in the following guidelines. 

Ideal body mechanics involves lifting with legs and keeping the back straight. Additionally, personnel should position as close to the patient/equipment as possible to create leverage and maintain balance. Recognition of one’s limitations is also important.

  • Consider the weight of the patient together with the weight of the stretcher or other equipment being carried and determine if additional help is needed.
  • Lift without twisting and avoid any swinging motion.
  • Feet should be shoulder width apart with one foot in front of the other.
  • Partner communication should be clear and continuous. Moves should be planned out in advance and communicated with the patient.
  • Whenever possible, move patients on devices that can be rolled.
  • Whenever possible push a device vs. pulling it.
  • Push at a level between your waist and shoulders.
  • Use kneeling position if weight is below waist level.
  • Avoid pushing and pulling from overhead position.