Massachusetts has become the 18th state to protect its health care workers with a needlestick injury prevention law.
Last Thursday night, Massachusetts Gov. A. Paul Cellucci signed into law legislation mandating the use of safety needle products.
The Massachusetts law is most like the law passed in New Jersey a year ago.
The new law requires health care facilities in the state to :
- make the devices available wherever feasible;
- include sharps injury prevention technology as an engineering practice in the workplace;
- develop a written exposure control plan; and
- develop and implement an exposure incident log, which would record the type and brand of device involved.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), a group instrumental in pushing for the passage of the bill, are praising the governor''s decision.
"All employees of acute and non-acute licensed hospitals in this Commonwealth will now benefit from the mandated use of the most safe technologies and the information that comes from ''shared data'' and quality assurance measures," said an MNA spokesperson.
Following this most recent legislative action, nearly 40 percent of the nation''s healthcare workers are now protected under mandated safety laws.
by Virginia Sutcliffe