BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio -- In a letter dated Nov. 17, 2003, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) acknowledged that the use of devices such as the Disintegrator PRO would comply with the requirements of the bloodborne pathogens regulations in appropriate settings. The product is manufactured by Safeguard Medical Devices, Inc., d.b.a. Disintegrator Products.
In response to a May 30, 2003 letter from the firm, OSHA stated, "The requirements of the standards are performance based" and that "compliance was determined on a facility-by-facility basis." OSHA further clarified that "Where SESIPs are not effective, available, or appropriate the employer must look at other means to reduce exposure . which would include a NDD (needle destruction device)."
According to OSHA's letter, the employer is to determine the most effective means of preventing accidental needlesticks, with input from non-managerial employees, and document the consideration and selection of the engineering control in their ECP (exposure control plan). Once the employer determines that an engineering control is effective, they are not required to evaluate all available new controls every year, but to simply keep abreast of new technologies and document this in their ECP.
With the push of a button, the compact PRO unit is designed to create a small plasma arc that literally melts the steel needle tip, leaving a blunt, sealed and safe endpoint. During the process, the needle tip is heated to approximately 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, practically ensuring the elimination of any pathogens.
The lightweight unit operates from either ac current or the built-in rechargeable battery, and is FDA approved for use with most common needles, lancets and pre-filled vials.
The unit serves as an effective, inexpensive solution to the challenging problem of reducing needlestick exposure in many professional settings.