A new electric stair-climbing transport device from Mortuary Lift promises to take most of the labor out of moving remains from private homes.
The Stepper makes it possible for a staff member to remove a body of several hundred pounds without a helper, and without the typical back strain:
- On stairs, a second set of wheels electrically grabs the next step and pulls the wheeled platform up--or lowers it down--eliminating manual lifting and pulling
- A 3-step hydraulic prop stand simplifies transferring remains from horizontal to vertical
The device evolved from a question funeral home directors asked Mortuary Lift over and over. “They would say, ‘you saved my back in the preparation room; now can you help with removals?,’ ” explains Katie Hill, president of the company and a licensed funeral director.
“It can be extremely awkward and difficult to safely transport bodies from second floors, basements, rooms filled with furniture and clutter, etc. The Stepper not only does the lifting and pulling; it enhances the dignity and professionalism of removal while the bereaved family looks on. With this product, we are continuing to redefine lifting.”
Since an individual can operate The Stepper alone, it will help funeral home directors reduce labor costs as they struggle to address changes in the industry, such as the increasing popularity of less-profitable cremations.
Plus, it opens funeral work to virtually anyone. “Over half of mortuary school graduates today are female,” Hill notes, “so the need for transport aids keeps increasing. The average remains weigh over 200 pounds, and it is not good for anyone’s back to lift and move that much weight.”
Interest was high when The Stepper was introduced at the National Funeral Home Association conference in October. “We were busy from open to close, and stayed late every day taking orders,” Hill says. “Back injuries are the most common injury in the industry, and one after another, show visitors said, ‘I need this!’ ”
The Stepper fits industry standards for stretcher height, straps, boards and pouches. See it in action on the Mortuary Lift website (mortuarylift.com) and Instagram (mortuaryliftcompany).