Clip sling innovations for global users
Whilst loop attachments tend to be the most popular method of attaching slings on to a spreader bar in the UK, there are still many users and carers throughout the globe who prefer and use a manual or powered cradle with clip attachment. This, therefore, makes clip innovations an important part business as we look to stay ahead of competitors with innovative new products. OpeMed’s new sister company UniQare – a specialist sling manufacturing company, offer a unique new clip solution.
Double safety for both clients and healthcare workers
With the innovative, patented iQ clip from UniQare, working with hoists in healthcare is becoming safer and more ergonomic for both clients and healthcare workers. Thanks to the unique double protection, unintentional loosening of the sling is excluded. Moreover, improper use with large physical loads is virtually impossible. The UniQare sling with iQ clip is universal, so can be used on any hoist with clip system.
The iQ clip is a high-profile innovation, which has been worked on for five years at our R&D department in the Netherlands. The result of five years of innovation is a clip which allows the sling to be easily attached and released from the hoist, whilst ensuring undesired detachment is impossible. This patented development makes working with hoists in the healthcare sector safer and more ergonomic for both clients and healthcare workers. “The unique UniQare range of slings with the innovative iQ clip, offers state-of-the-art solutions”, says production manager Wybren Terpstra of UniQare.
When working with a hoist, the sling is often loosened and fastened several times per day by healthcare workers. Every time, the clips of the sling must be securely attached to all four attachment points, otherwise, a fall incident can occur with potentially devastating consequences. With daily intensive use, there is a greater chance that a mistake is made. “The iQ-clip makes this impossible,” says regional manager Françoise van der Veen of UniQare, “Loose is loose, fixed is fixed, otherwise, it can not attach. ‘Focusing’ (not fully fastening, resulting in false safety) with the iQ-clip is impossible thanks to the innovative construction and double protection: locking by means of a built-in spring in combination with the natural closure by gravity. ”
For healthcare workers, this innovation is an impulse to work more ergonomically, according to the Working Conditions Decree. Many slings can be pulled loose by means of great physical strength. The UniQare sling makes this impossible because natural pressure on the strap ensures that the clip is virtually unattachable under tension.
‘The new paper clip’
UniQare started this innovative development five years ago. “The care requires continuous improvement of safety. And that is exactly what we are always working on”, says operational director Johan Mooibroek. “By improving tools we want to minimize the chance of accidents and human failure. We have been doing this for more than 25 years.”
Over the past five years, nine prototypes have been developed, tested and continuously improved on the basis of more than a quarter of a century of knowledge and experience in lifting equipment. This first happened internally and later on the work floor. It resulted in a patented innovation that successfully passed through all very detailed tests according to the Medical Aids Directive. Referring to the apparent simplicity and effectiveness of the invention, production manager Wybren Terpstra of UniQare calls the iQ clip with a wink ‘the new paperclip’.