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Electrical safety of power-assisted beds

Safety Alert
5 June 2015

Damage to the electrical cords of power-assisted beds used in hospitals and aged care facilities can expose workers and patients to electrical hazards.

The risk arises when the power cord is not installed in a safe manner or is strung loosely along the bed frame. The cord can easily become damaged if lodged in the moving parts of the bed while being raised, lowered or moved around the care facility.

If cords are not installed correctly:

  • they can be crimped or crushed by the moving parts of the bed
  • insulation can become damaged
  • conductors can become exposed as a result of the constant pulling and stretching of the cord (see image below).

Image displaying to cord on a power assisted bed

Risk control measures

Running of electrical cords

Ensure electrical cords are:

  • installed in a safe manner along the bed structure and away from all moving parts of the bed
  • safely anchored or laced to the bed frame
  • kept as short as possible
  • fully inserted into the wall power outlet (directly to the power outlet or via an extension cable).

Power-assisted beds should be regularly inspected for any electrical hazards.

Safe handling of cables/cords

Consider:

  • providing a safe method of securing the loose power plug while the bed is being transported or moved
  • using extendable or flexible spiral electrical cord for connecting the bed to the wall socket outlet.
Disclaimer: While care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information in this publication, at the time of reading it may not be sufficiently accurate, current or complete to suit your individual needs. Reliance on the information in this publication is at your own risk. SafeWork SA accepts no liability for any loss resulting from your reliance on it. To best meet your work health and safety obligations refer to current Acts, Regulations and Approved Codes of Practice.