Most U.S. health care facilities "are not designed and constructed to accommodate the installation of fixed lifting equipment," and federal mandates for safe patient handling and lift standards will "waste a tremendous amount of health care resources," a health care facilities design and construction expert last month told a Senate panel. Federal mandates, like those proposed in S. 1788, the Nurse and Health Care Worker Protection Act, are not the best way to protect workers and patients, Douglas Erickson, vice president of the Facilities Guidelines Institute (FGI), told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee's employment and workplace safety panel. For 63 years, FGI's Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities has set consensus standards for health care facility design and for assessing and implementing safe-patient handling. That process "works without the need for a set of federal government safe patient handling standards," he said.

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