Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Harris, Leonard


As the population ages, eldercare becomes more important than ever, yet many caregivers lack the resources they need to safely do their jobs. For those who take care of a disabled loved-one at home or work as home health aides, basic tasks can be frustrating and even dangerous. The high physical demands of moving and lifting patients make injuries common among home health care workers. Musculoskeletal injuries to the back, shoulders, wrists, and hands are especially common. The use of transfer devices such as Hoyer lifts, slide boards, and gait belts help to make moving patients easier and safer, but their designs are not always optimized. This article describes the creation of a novel transfer sling that attempts to decrease risk of injury through ergonomic design. The hollow, rigid handle grips allow the user to keep their wrist at a comfortable angle while lifting or pulling in any direction. A finger guard maintains clearance to protect the user’s fingers from the support straps as the handle moves. The large diameter of the handles distributes weight more evenly across the hand and lessens the grip force needed to move a patient. Based on the NIOSH’s revised lifting equation, this design has a 10-40% higher recommended weight limit than traditional sling designs, meaning it increases the amount a caregiver can safely lift by at least 10% compared to existing products.


in-home healthcare, patient transfer, patient lift, work safety, ergonomics, transfer sling

Available for download on Friday, October 18, 2024