Where can I find the regulations or laws that says the number of people required to transfer a patient? I found this FDA Safety Guide booklet, but I did not find a federal or state law. Does this mean the FDA gives a decision on each medical device they approve? Or is there an actual law that gives the FDA this authority?

See page 6 in this booklet

Most lifts require two or more caregivers to safely operate lift and handle patient.

Note, there are more than one type of patient lift.

The other entities who I thought may have a law for this is either the Department of Health and Human Services (federal) or the Department of Health Services (state), if the Food and Drug Administration does not.

  • The operating word is safely
    – Trish
    Feb 26 at 22:05
  • 3
    I don't think they're saying the law requires two people. They're just saying that that's how these lifts work.
    – bdb484
    Feb 26 at 22:05

2 Answers 2



The law only requires that patient lift transfers be done safely (as it does for all types of work activity); each employer is responsible for determining what is safe and what is not. If an employee or patient is injured then a court will determine if they employer was right or not.

  • That justifies why it's written in some contracts but not others, and people telling me it's a law. Thank you! Feb 27 at 6:35
  • @JustBeingHelpful, What "contracts" are you referring to? P.S. it's not possible to prove that there is no law anywhere. If someone asserts that there is a law requiring something, then the burden of proof is on them to cite the source. If they claim a legal reason for the terms of their contract and you disagree, either don't sign or ask them for clarification. I have found that often these claims are based on presumptions and ignorance passed down from others. Feb 27 at 16:16
  • Providers of various managed care organizations (contracted for Medicaid spending). Yesterday, I found a company (company contracted with an MCO company) with one person required (not two), which is rare, so there are some organizations that require less. Feb 29 at 14:46

I don't know if the FDA has a regulation on this topic or not. But the FDA has broad authority to issue rules and regulations spelling out points not specifically set forth in a statute. These rules and regulations can be found here.


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