Topics explained – Electrical safety of power-assisted beds

Damage to the electrical cords of power-assisted beds used in hospitals and aged care facilities can expose workers and patients to electrical hazards.

The risk arises when the power cord is not installed in a safe manner or is strung loosely along the bed frame. The cord can easily become damaged if lodged in the moving parts of the bed while being raised, lowered or moved around the care facility.

If cords are not installed correctly:

  • they can be crimped or crushed by the moving parts of the bed
  • insulation can become damaged
  • conductors can become exposed as a result of the constant pulling and stretching of the cord (see image below).Close up image of power cord on a power assisted bed

Risk control measures

Running of electrical cords

Ensure electrical cords are:

  • installed in a safe manner along the bed structure and away from all moving parts of the bed
  • safely anchored or laced to the bed frame
  • kept as short as possible
  • fully inserted into the wall power outlet (directly to the power outlet or via an extension cable).

Power-assisted beds should be regularly inspected for any electrical hazards.

Safe handling of cables/cords


  • providing a safe method of securing the loose power plug while the bed is being transported or moved
  • using extendable or flexible spiral electrical cord for connecting the bed to the wall socket outlet.