Needlestick Prevention Law Update

Fifteen States Now Have Legislation

Ohio, Oklahoma, Connecticut, and Alaska are the most recent states to pass needle safety legislation. The current list of states that have taken legislative action and the date the bills were signed into law follows:

State Date Signed into Law

California 9/98

Tennessee 3/99

Maryland 5/99

Texas 6/99

New Jersey 1/00

West Virginia 4/00

Minnesota 4/00

Maine 4/00

Georgia 4/00

Iowa 4/00

New Hampshire 5/00

Alaska 6/00

Connecticut 6/00

Oklahoma 6/00

Ohio 7/00

According to the International Health Care Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia, Hawaii has passed a senate resolution, but not a law, regarding their support for implementation of safer medical devices. The District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have bills pending.

Ohio law, the most recent to be approved, requires public institutions to use safety needles and provides training on how to use them and how to keep records of needlestick injuries. Similar to other states' laws, it makes exceptions for lack of available products and when products compromise patient safety. The legislation's standards are close to federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and will take effect in three months.