Can one person use a patient lifting hoist?

Posted on 7 February 2019 in Patient Hoist Equipment

Whether or not one person can use a hoist is a rather hotly-debated topic — and with good reason. Ceiling track hoists are specialist pieces of equipment and the last thing you want to do is injure the patient or yourself.

So what we want to find out is can one person use a ceiling hoist? And if so, how can they do it safely?

Are you allowed to hoist someone by yourself?

This is a bit of grey area. It’s not a legal requirement for two people to hoist a patient, but a few companies and care providers will specify that you should only ever hoist someone when there are two carers to do so.

Realistically, you can use a hoist by yourself, but if you’re working for a company where there’s a two-person policy, then you should make sure you do it in a pair.

Always make sure to check the policy and the patient’s care plan to see if it specifies two carers whenever you hoist. If it doesn’t, then you can probably hoist the patient by yourself.

Why would you specify for two carers during hoisting?

Two carers have been used previously to hoist patients for health and safety reasons. Particularly when you’re working within the client’s own home or you’re using a mobile hoist, two carers is often better because it means that there’s not a single carer straining or injuring themselves during any manual handling procedures.

Some ceiling track hoist systems themselves are fitted with components that require two carers to use them. Older and more primitive hoist tracks are often moved around manually and need an extra carer to make them work whilst the other moves the patient throughout the transfer.

Of course with equipment like this, it ends up costing you more in time and effort because it requires two operators.

Is there a single-user hoist system?

Single-user hoist systems do exist and they’re very easy to use! Not only does this help free up a member of staff, it actually takes a lot less effort to make it all work.

Automated track components like transit couplings and turntables make it incredibly easy to use an entire overhead hoist system by yourself. Using sensors and magnets, your hoist tracking can detect when you want to move from one system to another and it will lock the corresponding rail into place.

This is great in places like care homes and hospitals where moving patients between rooms and areas is very common. It’s also a very useful thing to have in your own home (if necessary) because it gives you access to your entire house without having to worry about moving and handling between rooms.


It is possible for one person to use a ceiling hoist thanks to single-user hoist systems. Thanks to innovative equipment and hoist track components, you can move patients around by yourself and give them your full attention without having to worry about manual tasks.

If you’re still not sure on how it all works and want a demonstration, get in touch with our team and we’d be glad to help.

Other blogs you may be interested in

How do I choose the right ceiling track hoist system?

What are ceiling hoists used for?

Hospice Care is…

What is a ceiling track hoist? How is it installed?

A Guide to Weight Limits of Ceiling Track Hoists

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