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July 30, 2010

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Hospital shows some bottle on manual handling

By investing in an electric-operated gas-bottle mover from MasterMover Ltd, Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust has improved manual handling efficiency and has reduced the risk of accidents to both patients and porters when moving gas cylinders.

Explaining the importance of moving gas cylinders around the hospital, Paul Moon, portering manager at Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust, said: “It is important to be able to respond quickly if the A&E department, for example, requests an oxygen cylinder urgently. We need to be able to transfer that bottle from our central gas-bottle store to the A&E department quickly and safely. MasterMover’s Gas Bottle Mover has certainly improved that process considerably.”€ᄄ €ᄄ

Prior to investing in the machine, gas bottles were moved by a porter from the central stores to their destination using either a trolley, or by carrying them manually. The latter, in particular, carried a health and safety risk to both staff and patients.€ᄄ €ᄄ

On a typical day, the porters need to move 16 or 17 gas cylinders around the hospital. Using a trolley, which holds a maximum of three cylinders, a porter would need to make five or six separate journeys from the central stores to other departments. This was taking up valuable time that the porter could be spending carrying out other tasks.€ᄄ €ᄄ

After seeing a demonstration of MasterMover’s SmartMover machine for moving clinical-waste roll cages around the hospital, Moon asked the company if it had a solution to moving gas cylinders around the hospital more safely and efficiently, and was recommended the company’s Gas Bottle Mover.€ᄄ €ᄄ

Purpose-designed and built to address the problem of transferring gas bottles safely and quickly around a hospital, the machine supplied to Lewisham Hospital is capable of moving up to 16 bottles (four large and 12 small bottles) of various sizes in a single journey, enabling the porters to make more efficient ward deliveries, with a dramatic reduction in manual handling.€ᄄ €ᄄ

The machine incorporates a number of safety features. As well as providing throttle control and an electromagnetic safety brake, the machine also includes safety chains, which prevent bottles from falling off, and access ramps to ease the handling of larger bottles on to the machine. The Gas Bottle Mover is slightly smaller than a typical hospital bed.

“Since investing in the Gas Bottle Mover, the hospital has benefited from a much safer workplace for both patients and staff,” said Moon. “The handling efficiencies of our porters, who use the bottle mover on a daily basis, have also improved significantly.”€ᄄ €ᄄ

The Gas Bottle Mover meets the latest HSE regulations for the handling and use of gas cylinders. As MasterMover’s Anthony Brown advises: “The HSE recommends that gas cylinders are moved in a vertical position rather than horizontal to minimise the risk of valves being damaged. The bottles also need to be securely restrained to prevent them from falling over.”€ᄄ €ᄄ

For more information on MasterMover’s range of materials-handling solutions, telephone 01335 347 700, or e-mail [email protected]  

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