SAFETY NEEDLES: Senate Committee Approves Bill
The state Senate Health and Human Services Committee yesterday approved a bill that would require "the use of safety needles to protect health care workers from accidental needle sticks." The bill would be the first in the nation to require use of the needles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The committee approved the measure, which was introduced by state Assemblywoman Carole Midgen (D-San Francisco), by a 5-2 vote. Introduced as an emergency measure, the bill "would take effect this year if it passes and is signed by the governor." California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recommended similar regulations, but they could take more than a year to be approved. The California Healthcare Association opposes the mandatory use of safety needles "on the ground that it would be too costly for employers to evaluate the more than 100 safety needle products now on the market" (Carlsen, 7/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.