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Nurses in Washington State are celebrating passage of a bill that promotes safe patient handling and aims to protect nurses and other health care workers from back injuries. The legislation establishes a Safe Patient Handling Committee (at least half of committee members must be direct care providers) and implements a safe patient-handling policy to prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Hospitals are mandated to acquire lifting equipment and provide staff-development sessions about lifting techniques.

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Last summer, Texas became the first state to pass safe patient-lifting legislation.