Research Summary: Use of Compliant Slings With Any Compatible Hoist System
The following research summary is provided by CHS Healthcare for information purposes only for each facility to determine their own processes and procedures regarding the matter of whether care facilities can use slings by any manufacturer on an alternative manufacturer’s hoist system, provided the sling type is designed for the type of hoist in use.
This research summary was created due to the level of confusion and opposing opinions on the subject. CHS presents this document in an effort to support the entire healthcare industry and its carers.
Point of Research for Consideration:
We have had many discussions over the years with clients and manufacturers about this question, as it is always of legitimate concern for carers. It is entirely a matter of proper care and what practise ensures that care is applied safely and effectively. Unfortunately, the question of sling compatibility has also been taken advantage of by some manufacturers in order to enforce sling sales on clients. Slings vary greatly in price from one manufacturer to another, and often identical slings with different branding can attract wildly different pricing.
In 2013 there was a meeting is the US involving the majority of hoist manufacturers, conducted by AASPHM (American Association for Safe Patient Handling and Movement).
An indication of the AASPHM viewpoints and discussions from a global professional attendee base are as follows:
CHS takes the position that safety is the number 1 priority, and as such we supply many brands of slings to meet the needs of our clients. Subsequently, we endorse the safest and most appropriate slings at all times and have historically investigated this matter with our suppliers and manufacturers.
The above information can perhaps be best rationalised by an overview given to CHS, by one of the only manufacturers who replied to us; the following advice was given (in summary):
CHS Healthcare has had many discussions on this topic from colleagues and authorities from around the world. From our discussions we understand that, several years ago in the UK, there was a challenge by a manufacturer in the courts in an attempt to enforce their brand of slings be used exclusively on their hoists after a sling and hoist manufacturer attempted to enforce their brand of sling be used with their brand of hoists. The case is understood to be unsuccessful and was anecdotal, ‘thrown out of court’ and dismissed.
The following analogy can be applied: a car manufacturer attempting to force owners of their make and model of car to have to use the manufacturer (or approved) brand of tyre, based on the premise that the use of those tyres is to ensure safety for those travelling in the vehicle.
All evidence supports this practice as unacceptable. Slings are manufactured to standards. Hoists are manufactured to standards. Provided the use of slings and hoists are based on proper training, appropriate use, proper education, managed operation, OH&S regulations and ISO standards, then sharing the appropriate slings (such as loop slings) between hoists is a safe and compliant practise.
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