BD Celebrates Healthcare Worker Safety Law
Contact: Camilla B. Jenkins
Franklin Lakes, NJ (November 06, 2000) -- Franklin Lakes, NJ -- Monday, November 06, 2000 -- After years of pioneering effort in support of healthcare worker safety, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX) celebrates the passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. The legislation, signed into law today by President Clinton, is designed to protect healthcare workers from accidental needlesticks by requiring healthcare facilities to review and make available safety-engineered sharps products.
According to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), an early advocate of the bill, "BD should be recognized for its industry leadership in helping to bring about legislation that represents a significant step forward in protecting our nation's healthcare workers."
BD President and CEO Edward J. Ludwig said, "BD has been one of the most active proponents of healthcare worker safety for years, and we feel extraordinarily fortunate to witness the enactment of this historic legislation. We will continue to affirm our corporate vision of helping all people live healthy lives by providing the highest quality safety-engineered devices available to nurses, clinicians and others and continue to strive for even greater innovations and advancements in the future."
The law is based on the passage of bills in the Senate (S.B. 3067) and House of Representatives (H.R. 5178). U.S. Senate legislation was introduced by Senator James Jeffords (R-VT), sponsored by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Harry Reid (D-NV), and passed October 26, 2000. Representative Cass Ballenger (R-NC) introduced the House of Representatives legislation, which passed on October 4, 2000.
The new law updates the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to require that employers make available for use sharps "with engineered sharps injury protection features" and "needleless systems" to reduce the risk to healthcare workers of occupational exposure to HIV, hepatitis C and other diseases. In addition, the law requires that healthcare workers responsible for direct patient care participate in the evaluation of these products and mandates that healthcare facilities update and review their Exposure Control Plans to reflect changes in technology, such as safety-engineered devices, and maintain a log of accidental needlestick occurrences.
BD pioneered the development of safety-engineered products over 12 years ago and today is the leading supplier of safety-engineered medical devices. In July 2000, the Company launched the second wave of the BD Safety Compliance Initiative, a comprehensive education and training program to assist customers in complying with the new OSHA Compliance Directive.
"The passage of safety legislation has been a long-held dream for BD on behalf of our nation’s healthcare workers, and we thank President Clinton and all those who supported the legislation for making our it a reality," added Ludwig. "The true beneficiaries of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act will be the millions of caregivers across the country."
BD is a medical technology company that manufactures and sells a broad range of supplies, devices, and systems for use by healthcare professionals, medical research institutions, industry and the general public. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1999, BD reported total revenues of $3.4 billion.
For more information on healthcare worker safety, visit http://www.bd.com/safety.