This community of practice (CoP) is hosted by CRE-MSD, in collaboration with the Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA). The CoP strives to bring together a range of diverse stakeholders (researchers, ergonomists, management, front-line workers, human resource personnel, educators etc.) across different health care sectors (long term care, community, hospital) to support the practice of safe client/patient handling through the sharing of current research, training initiatives, ergonomic considerations, hazard identification and controls, and a host of other elements that support the reduction of MSD.

Nearly one half of MSD injuries in the health care sector are related to moving clients through lifting, transferring or repositioning (PSHSA, 2015). Clients/patients have fewer falls, skin tears, pressure ulcers when safe handling programs are implemented. We know that safe client/patient handling programs involve more than just equipment and therefore, through this CoP we will seek to present examples of current research on safe patient handling programs, policies that encourage the safest techniques, successful training and education programs, and evaluation and improvement practices.

We are committed to sharing knowledge around what works and what practice gaps continue to act as barriers to the successful prevention of MSD in client/patient handling.

What does a community of practice offer?

  • Access to research evidence
  • Sharing evidence-based resources and information
  • Partnership building
  • Opportunity to inform research
  • Updates on promising practices and policy changes

Who benefits?

  • Researchers
  • Individuals working in health care
  • Policy makers
  • Health and safety associations
  • Educators
  • Ergonomists


The client/patient handling CoP is lead and funded by CRE-MSD. Management and coordination support for the CoP is provided by CRE-MSD in partnership with in-kind support from PSHSA. The team consists of:

Catherine Brookman
Associate director, knowledge transfer and exchange

Henrietta Van hulle
Vice president, client outreach, stakeholder & government relations

Sherri Bastos
Director of prevention, engagement and retention

Betina Butler
Administrative coordinator


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A collection of relevant resources available for viewing and downloading.
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