- OSHA Healthcare Advisor - http://blogs.hcpro.com/osha -

Needlesticks law accounts for drop in injuries

Law and order has led to a decrease in needlestick injuries among hospital workers.

A multihospital sharps-injury database maintained by the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia shows a 38% decline in percutaneous injuries since passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) on November 6, 2000 and stronger enforcement by OSHA according to “Percutaneous Injuries before and after the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act,” [1] appearing in the correspondence section of the of the New England Journal of Medicine, February 16.

Along with the decrease, researchers from the safety center tracked “a steep market shift from conventional to safety-engineered devices,” suggesting additional effects from the NSPA.

“Our findings provide evidence that the NSPA contributed to the decline in percutaneous injuries among U.S. hospital workers. They also support the concept that well-crafted legislation bolstered by effective enforcement can be a motivating factor in the transition to injury-control practices and technologies, resulting in a safer work environment and workforce,” conclude researchers Elayne K. Phillips, B.S.N., Ph.D.; Mark R. Conaway, Ph.D.; Janine C. Jagger, M.P.H., Ph.D.