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Washington tax tidbit: safe patient handling tax credit

Washington flag Fans of the television show Grey's Anatomy know that the medical staff of that fictional Seattle hospital often encounter dramatic workplace threats.

But a tax credit enacted in 2006 was designed to help reduce one at least one very real peril that Washington state medical staff face.

Health care workers suffer more musculoskeletal disorders that any other employment sector in the state and have higher injury rates than other dangerous occupations, according to the Washington State Nurse Association.

The traumas typically come from the manual moving, transferring and re-positioning of patients.

To reduce such injuries, part of the Hospital Safe Patient Handling Act requires Washington hospitals to have (1) one lift per acute care unit on the same floor, (2) one lift for every 10 acute care available inpatient beds or (3) equipment for use by hospital staff charged with lifting patients.

And to help the hospitals acquire this equipment, the law also includes a tax credit of up to $1,000 for each acute care available inpatient bed towards the cost of purchasing mechanical lifting devises and other similar equipment.

I'm sure all the Evergreen State's real-life McDreamies, McSteamies, nurses and other staff appreciate all the help they can get.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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