NATIONAL REPORT—At last month’s HD Expo in Las Vegas, two companies were at the show with bed lifting systems that offer many benefits—not only for housekeepers but for owners, managers and maintenance personnel as well. The two companies, Ezi-Maid Bed Lifting Systems N.A. and Atkinson Ergonomic Solutions, Inc., both demonstrated their own versions of bed lifting systems.
Bed lifting systems solve some of the most challenging parts of housekeeping—making the bed and moving the bed—important at a time when beds are larger and heavier. The systems raise the level of the bed to an ergonomically safe level. Housekeepers can change a bed standing up and a mattress can be rotated by one housekeeper. Bed lifting systems alleviate the strain that goes along with repetitive bending motions. The result is fewer injuries, fewer workers compensation claims and potentially greater profits.
“Housekeeping is the toughest job in the entire hotel,” says David Ladley, Managing Director of Ezi-Maid Bed Lifting Systems N.A.
Patrick Atkinson, CEO of Atkinson Ergonomic Solutions, Inc., says the average workers comp claim for a back injury is $40,000 to $90,000. That does not include the cost of training a fill-in employee or advertising for help during a tight job market.
Atkinson says hoteliers in California have been especially interested in bed lifting systems. In January 2018, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board approved a standard on “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.” Under the new rule, each covered employer is required to establish and maintain a written musculoskeletal injury prevention program (MIPP) that addresses hazards specific to housekeeping. Required elements of the MIPP include worksite evaluations. Examples of identifiable risks: prolonged or awkward static postures, extreme reaches and repetitive reaches above shoulder height, lifting or forceful whole body or hand exertions, torso bending, twisting, kneeling and squatting, pushing and pulling, falling and striking objects, pressure points where a part of the body presses against an object or surface, excessive work-rate, and inadequate recovery time between housekeeping tasks.
“We know the housekeepers are all for the bed lifting systems,” Atkinson says.
Addition Bed Lifting System Benefits
With the bed raised, housekeepers can easily vacuum under the bed, making the room cleaner and healthier for guests. The breeding ground for mites, mildew, and bacteria is reduced significantly and hair and other items can be removed. According to ISSA, one square yard of commercial carpeting captures one pound of dirt per week. Bed lifting systems can also extend the life of the bed. They reduce the volume of bed base nicks and scratches that go along with vacuuming or mopping. According to Atkinson, lifting the bed also makes bed bug inspection easier.
The Ezi-Maid Bed Electric System fits all bed sizes and is RFID controlled. Each lift has its own reader. With a programed key fob, a housekeeper can raise or lower the bed. The system is programmable to individual bed heights to ensure the greatest level of personal comfort every time. With the Ezi-Maid system there is no pushing or pulling of the bed lift to raise or lower the bed.
Ezi-Maid Bed Lifting Systems N.A.’s Ladley says the RFID system remembers the bed height for each housekeeper. “That information goes with them everywhere they go,” he says. “If they forget to lower the bed, it will lower automatically.”
Ezi-Maid Bed Lifting Systems N.A. has been in business for 13 years. The company just recently entered the North American market.
New Innovative Product Award Winner
The Atkinson BedLift was officially launched at last month’s HD Expo by Atkinson Ergonomic Solutions, Inc. There, the company earned the New Innovative Product award for its BedLift. The Atkinson BedLift is a product that lifts the entire bed for easier access. According to Patrick Atkinson, it retrofits existing bed frames, is non-electric, inexpensive and easy to install. Atkinson Ergonomic Solutions currently offers three versions of its bed lifting system: retrofit version, bed base combo version with built in bed frame, and platform version. Housekeepers use a hook to easily raise the bed and a simple push places the bed back in its original position.
Atkinson emphasized his company’s ability to adapt the BedLift to any bed situation. For beds with headboards attached to the bed, for example, Atkinson Ergonomic Solutions will provide a kit for attaching the headboard to the wall.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.