Shower Seat Fails: Recognizing the Importance of Maintaining Stationary Equipment


Permanently installed assistance devices are a necessity in healthcare settings. However, one-time equipment installation on a wall does not eliminate the need for periodic safety inspections. Just like mobile pieces of equipment, these permanent fixtures can sometimes fail and result in injuries to patients and visitors.


Shower Seat Fail

This claims study brings to light the potential hazard of such equipment.

Consider This Claim

A 52-year-old female had just completed a therapy session at a facility’s wellness center. Following therapy, she opted to utilize the showers located in the center. While seated in the mounted shower chair, the bolts became unsecured, and the chair collapsed while she was seated. She sustained soft tissue injuries to her knees and back during the fall. Inspection showed nothing defective with the shower chair, it had just become loose due to overall use with normal wear and tear.

The facility agreed to attempt early resolution of the claim and an amicable settlement was reached shortly after the incident was reported to the LHA Trust Funds. Through early engagement of our claims staff following the incident, our team was able to speak directly with the claimant and achieve a favorable outcome for all parties.


Proactively Maintain Stationary Equipment for Patient Safety

Our experienced risk consultants offer the following recommendations for maintaining stationary equipment for patient safety within your organization:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions when installing a wall-mounted shower chair.
  • Ensure that the wall has proper reinforcement where it will be mounted.
  • Post the equipment’s weight capacity near the equipment clearly visible to patients
  • Inspect shower chairs regularly as part of the facility’s routine safety inspections.
  • Inspect equipment that has been exposed to water for metal corrosion and ensure the hardware is secure.

These recommendations are also applicable to wall-mounted toilets, toilet grab bars, sinks, and baby changing stations.


Need More Resources?

Access our Environment of Care toolkit to discover fresh strategies that will help you create or sustain a safe environment for patient care.


About the Authors

3

Jamie Lamb
Director of Claims Operations, LHA Trust Funds

Jamie Lamb began her career in claims in 1997. Her experience includes handling multi-line claims in the areas of general liability, medical malpractice, automobile liability, commercial and personal property, excess and umbrella policies, and professional liability. Her experience comes as a former Manager and Litigation Specialist for the American National family of companies. She has been highly involved in the education and training of both internal and external customers her entire career. Ms. Lamb attended both Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, and Loyola University in New Orleans.

10

Steve Johnson, COSS, CHSP, COEE
Senior Risk Consultant, LHA Trust Funds

Steve Johnson provides consultation services to hospitals and healthcare facilities that are members of the LHA Trust Funds regarding safety issues related to general liability and workers’ compensation. Mr. Johnson has approximately 14 years of experience in risk management, including on-site risk assessment, safety training and accident investigation. He is a 2005 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science.

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