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Ceiling hoists

What is a ceiling hoist?

A ceiling hoist is a device that consists of a track attached to the ceiling, a manual or battery-powered lifting unit attached to the track, a sling that is attached to the lifting unit, and is used to transfer people between two locations (e.g. wheelchair and bed).

Why install ceiling hoists?

In 2009, a systematic review called The effectiveness of ceiling hoists in transferring people with disabilities (PDF, 599 kB) found strong evidence that ceiling hoists significantly decreased musculoskeletal injuries (by up to 58% ) and the physical stress for care-givers.


Most ceiling hoists can be purchased and fitted for around $7000.

Are mobile hoists better than ceiling hoists?

Each situation is different. However, when determining what type of lifting equipment is best, remember that mobile hoists:

  • are bulky and take up space for storage when not in use (i.e. about a square metre in floor space and 1.5 cubic metres in total)
  • are hard to push over some carpets and doorways
  • can be associated with shoulder injuries, especially when transferring patients onto a bed.


Ceiling hoist tracks should be dusted as per the regular dusting schedule for rooms. The hook that is attached to the hoist and moves from one patient room to the next should be wiped over with detergent and water, or an alcohol wipe.

The cloth sling should be allocated to the one patient and sent to the laundry on discharge as needed when soiled.

More information

For more information about the range of ceiling hoists, you can:

Last updated
25 August 2020

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