No “Minimal” Lift Policy

The No Lift Policy was introduced by WorkSafe to reduce the incidence of injuries caused to nursing staff.   Nursing staff had the highest rate of lower back pain of any industry aswell as a significant number of other musculoskeletal injuries.  This rate was extremely high meaning you are at an extremely high risk if you do not adopt the No Lift Policy.


The No Lift policy was designed to reduce the amount of force a staff member must use on a daily basis and therefore reduce injury rates.

The No Lift policy dictates that “A person must not be manually lifted except in emergency or life-threatening circumstances”.

This translates to the use of lifting machines, standing machines, adjustable chairs, mechanical chairs etc to do the work for you.

A lift is classified as” applying force to raise a person to a higher position”

In a practical sense this means applying “significant force”.  Significant force is that which is either greather than 16kg or a level of force that the person is dependant upon.(ie. they can’t do it without you)

Providing light guidance, hands on prompts is OK with one or two people.  But these must be very light.

Staff have the responsibility to obey the No Lift Policy as outlined by your Facility.  You also have the responsibility to report any Manual Handling issues to the Facility.  i.e. Mrs Smith can’t stand up on her own anymore and we must re evaluate her and use a standing machine.  Or  The standing machine is broken and needs fixing.

Lifting people under the arms is no longer acceptable.   This risks the safety of the nursing staff and leads to shoulder damage and pain for the Resident.

Lower Back Pain and Musculoskeletal injuries are serious, debilitating, career ending, life-long injuries that are not worth risking.

For more information on Manual Handling or th No Lift Policy please ask your Physiotherapist / OH&S representative.

See:  Worksafe – Transferring People Safely