• Mandatory Legislation for Sharps Safety

Mandatory Legislation for Sharps Safety: A first step

On Monday 24th June 2013 in the Federation Chamber of the Australian Federal Parliament the Australian public were treated to sensible bipartisian behaviour and good reason from twelve Members supporting Coalition MP Dr Mal Washer’s last private member motion and the first ever to address needlestick and sharps injuries. This motion has the potential to eliminate up to 30,000 of these potentially life-threatening workplace injuries sustained by Australian healthcare workers each year. As a nurse sustaining multiple sharps and Needlestick injuries over a 30-year plus career and as a long-term researcher and advocate for mandating availability of safety engineered sharps devices that eliminate this risk, my faith in Australian politics has been somewhat restored. Too bad Australia lags at least a decade behind the US and several years behind Canada and Europe until legislation mandating safety engineered sharps devices is promulgated.

Watch video proceedings of the debate. VIEW HERE.

You can also follow the official position of the Australian Alliance for Sharps Safety and Needlestick Injury Prevention in Healthcare (the Alliance) and learn more about the issue of needlestick or sharps injuries. VIEW HERE.

About the Author:

As Executive Director of Infection Control Plus Pty Ltd, Cathryn Murphy PhD provides independent consulting services to a range of clinical, public policy and commercial clients throughout the world.