New York State AFL-CIO Calls for Enactment of the Long Overdue Safe Patient Handling Act

After Assembly passage, legislation to reduce patient and healthcare worker injury awaits Senate action

ALBANY, NY (06/18/2013)(readMedia)-- The following statement was issued by New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento:

We commend Assemblywoman Gunther and Speaker Silver for their leadership in ensuring yesterday's passage of the Safe Patient Handling Act in the Assembly.

Year after year, both patients and healthcare workers alike are needlessly injured due to unsafe patient lifting. Healthcare facilities that have implemented Safe Patient Handling programs, which reduce manual lifting, have seen patient and worker injuries plummet, and have saved more than their investment through reduced workers' compensation, lost work days and overtime costs.

It's time that we stop talking about improving quality and reducing costs in healthcare, and start taking action by enacting Safe Patient Handling in New York State.

This bill passed overwhelmingly in the Senate last year and continues to enjoy widespread support; we hope and expect it will pass again before the end of the legislative session. Patients and the workers that provide their care have waited long enough.


The New York State AFL-CIO is a federation of 3,000 affiliated public sector, private sector, and building trades unions throughout the state representing 2.5 million members, retirees and their families. Our State Federation, which is the largest and most diverse in the country, is committed to helping working families achieve a better life. For more information on the Labor Movement in New York, visit