HEU urges stronger protections against needlestick injuries

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HEU is calling on WorkSafe BC – the Workers' Compensation Board – to strengthen its proposed new sharps regulation to ensure workers are afforded the highest possible protection from needlestick and other medical sharps injuries.

Speaking on Friday afternoon at the last in a series of public hearings on the proposed regulation, HEU’s occupational health and safety representative Ana Rahmat said that although the proposed regulation was an important step forward in addressing needlestick injuries, it didn’t go far enough.

“By limiting the regulation’s coverage to hollow bore needles used for vascular access, workers will not be adequately protected from medical sharps injuries,” she said. “Procedures limited to hollow bore needles account for only 30 per cent of all medical sharps procedures.”

HEU urged WorkSafeBC to:

  • expand the proposed regulation to cover all medical sharps procedures;
  • require health employers to maintain medical sharp injury logs to aid in tracking the scope and type of injuries taking place;
  • consult with the joint occupational health and safety committee, and workers, regarding the selection, implementation and evaluation of safety engineered devices; and
  • to move the regulation’s phase-in period from January, 2008 to April, 2007.