Needlestick Safety & Prevention Act of 2000

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was established on November 6, 2000 and was the work of Safe Needles Save Lives, a campaign launched by the American Nurses Association. The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act represented a revolutionary change for healthcare workers in the U.S. because it meant the government was now involved in their safety.

The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act requires employers to:

  • Identify, evaluate and implement safer medical devices
  • Maintain a sharps injury log
  • Involve healthcare workers in deciding which devices are used.
  • Implement engineering controls for sharps disposal containers, self-sheathing needles, safer medical devices like sharps with engineered injury protections and needleless systems, and requires that these engineering controls be used to eliminate or lessen employee exposure to bloodborne pathogens
  • Train employees in the proper usage of the engineering and work practice controls to help keep them safe

Using Guidelines Set Forth in the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act to Choose the Safest Products

While OSHA does not approve or endorse any specific syringe products, it sets forth guidelines to help in the process of choosing which are the safest. It is the employers' responsibility to determine which engineering controls are fitting for specific workplace hazards and which ones are commercially available. The availability of safe products makes the difference between having a safe workplace and one that could be fatal.

Learn about the legal protections for healthcare professionals.

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Unsafe Injections in the Developing World and Transmission of Bloodborne Pathegens: A Review.
Simonsen L, Kane A, Lloyd J, Zaffran M, Kane M. Bull World Health Organ. 1999;77(10):789-800. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

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The Global Burden of Disease Attributable to Contaminated Injections Given in Health Care Settings
Anja M Hauri, Gregory L Armstrong and Yvan J F Hutin

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