This article will discuss the reasons why we use mobile hoists from the basic biomechanical, through to the functional and up to the maintenance of an individual’s dignity.
The Hand Hoists we all know and use today stem from a simple design invented by Lord Armstrong in 1845. This invention came out of necessity; an industrial revolution was taking place in the UK with the ever-increasing demands on the coal and steel industries and manufacturing called on a need for machinery to meet the demands of the tools to lift heavier and heavier loads. This simple design often referred to as a block and tackle style hoist, which is still used to help disabled persons in their own homes, in hospitals and residential care facilities today. However why do we use mobile hoists at all?
The most basic advantage that using a mobile hoist gives us is that of simple biomechanics. Simply put they impact on the amount of effort required to move a person by the human body and the forces exerted on the body. For example if you have a person that weighs 170 pounds and that individual needs to be moved from their bed onto a care device such as a commode you do not need an equal amount of force to match the 170 pounds but considerably more in order for you to move that person.
That is one reason we have Hand Chain Hoists such as the hydraulic hoists invented by lord Armstrong. When lifting a person, the forces required to move them may not move in a straight up or down direction, or side to side, there could be a combination of the both or even rotation forces, all of which will have an impact on a handler’s muscular and skeletal frame.
Hoisting a person (animate object) that is dependent on us for their care is not like hoisting a crate of oranges (inanimate object) for example. If we hurt ourselves when lifting a box of oranges and we drop the oranges, we may end up with an injury and a broken box of oranges. The same cannot be said if we were lifting another person and we sustained an injury leading to us dropping the person. This could have catastrophic effects on the individual being dropped and is not a sustainable way to manage a dependent person’s care.
Mobile hoists allow us to apply the required amount of force to lift a dependent person with the mechanical forces going through the structure of the Lever Hoist and therefore reducing the biomechanical forces exerted on the carer. Therefore, we reduce the risk of injury to both the dependent person and the carer and increase the sustainability of the dependent person’s care.