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ATLANTA -- The following release was issued today by BioMed:
In a letter dated September 12, 2002 from John L. Henshaw, assistant secretary, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to the Needle Destruction Device Association of America, needle destruction devices (NDDs) were confirmed as meeting the definition of engineering controls under OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030.
According to OSHA's letter, "A device that reduces the risk to employees by destroying contaminated needles is clearly a type of engineering control, and OSHA's field staff has been so advised." The letter goes on to say, "An NDD may be included as a component of an employer's exposure control plan to the extent it assists the employer in minimizing exposures ... "
In his letter, Henshaw notes, "OSHA recognizes that needleless systems and SESIPs, (sharps with engineered sharps injury protection) are not available for all situations. Moreover, there are a wide variety of devices available, and the device that most effectively reduces exposure can vary with the procedure." In such circumstances, "the selection and use of NDDs may be most appropriate for clinical procedures where SESIPs or needleless systems are either not feasible, or not commercially available, for example, certain procedures in geriatrics, pediatrics and orthopedics." He stressed that "Employers must use their judgment in selecting appropriate engineering controls, and under NSPA, (Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act), must consult with affected non-managerial employees." BioMed's CEO Mike Smith concurs. "Our customers must review the available technologies on a regular basis, assess their own needs, and then choose the appropriate technologies based on effectiveness in their own work environment."
"OSHA has now clearly and succinctly stated its position on NDDs," said BioMed's Smith. "We couldn't be more pleased."
BioMed, located in Norcross, Ga., is committed to building a safer healthcare workplace through the innovative application of technology and behavior based performance management. BioMed offers complete and comprehensive solutions to healthcare provider needs for safety, technology and compliance, both as a medical device manufacturer and as an application service provider.