Safe moving and handling - an international perspective

3 minute(s) to read

How do you safely move someone without injuring yourself?  This is a question that occupational therapist and neuropedagogy expert Jane Vorting looked to answer in the latest Cubro CoLabs moving and handling webinar.

Jane joined the webinar from Denmark and shared her expertise and thoughts on ‘Moving and handling in a safe and dignified way’. Jane is the Education Manager and patient handling expert at Etac – a world-leading developer of patient handling equipment.

When it comes to safe transfer techniques, Jane is particularly passionate about not only the biomechanics behind moving and handling but also the importance of considering the psychological and sensory needs of the individual who is being moved.

Her webinar was designed for occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, clinicians and carers who want best practice advice and an overview of the latest international research concerning moving and handling in the hope of reducing workplace injuries. “The webinar also contained inspiration for approaches that result in a dignified transfer. I hope this knowledge will help reduce combative behaviour,” Jane says,

“I’m am excited to share research about how ergonomic training reduced the amount of work injuries by 38% at Danish elderly homes – and of course the transfer techniques they use – so we can avoid even more work injuries in New Zealand."


The key to meeting a resident or patient’s psychological and sensory needs is to ‘control the input and read the output’. “In other words, if the carer observes sensory problems, then take this knowledge into account when planning and performing the transfer,” she explains.

“If the person suffers from tactile intolerance, then avoid touching them on their bare skin. If another person has very poor balance, then perform the transfer very slowly – one change of position at a time to avoid overstimulation. The carer controls the inputs of sensory stimulation, and then reads the output. Was the person more stressed or calm during the transfer? Then you know if it was the right strategy for that individual.”

Jane has a particular interest in neuropedagogy (an approach where we look at the person as a whole – brain, body and mind), and sensory stimulation (to determine what stresses us and what calms us down).




“This is extremely useful information when we analyse the behavior of a restless person. Suddenly we can see which stimulations they are trying to avoid or trying to obtain. For example, an elderly person with dementia is able to calm himself/herself down through the tactile sense by fidgeting with a napkin when eating. If the behavior is inappropriate, you can help the person to achieve the desired stimulation through another activity.”

Having gained a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2010, Jane has worked closely with patients suffering from acquired brain injuries and people with dementia. Moving and handling has become a particular passion of hers, and she’s also worked for a Danish company which develops sensory stimulating products like ball blankets and weighted vests to calm down restless and anxious people.

In April 2021 she joined Etac as an Education Manager in the department of patient handling. “This was a unique possibility to work full time with the thing I enjoy the most, training and education of employees working with patient transfers. Mostly it involves training of sales reps around the world so they are able to find the best solution for the customers, but I also produce webinars for our distributors like Cubro and their customers.

“I really enjoy keeping my knowledge updated through education and conferences where I meet a lot of dedicated and inspiring people who make me wiser day by day. I believe knowledge sharing is indispensable for good practice.”

Outside of work, Jane enjoys volunteering at her child’s sailing club and at local musical festivals. “Other than that, I enjoy my yoga class once a week, and luckily I live next to a forest which both my dog and I enjoy.”

You can view Jane's webinar on 'Moving and handling in a safe and dignified way' on demand by logging into the resources section of

New Zealand has its own Moving and Handling guidelines developed by ACC and may differ from the international studies presented in this Cubro CoLabs

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