50
THE SENATE                           S.R. NO.              S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                    SENATE  RESOLUTION


URGING THE DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF WORKPLACE SAFETY PROTOCOLS
   ADDRESSING NEEDLESTICK INJURIES.



 1        WHEREAS, nurses in bargaining unit 09 are acutely aware of
 2   the serious safety issue of needlestick injuries that can
 3   transmit various illnesses to nurses and other health care
 4   workers caring for patients in publicly operated hospitals,
 5   clinics, and community settings; and
 6   
 7        WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
 8   Prevention, an estimated 800,000 needlestick injuries occur
 9   annually in the workplace, causing at least 1,000 serious
10   illnesses and just under 100 deaths from bloodborne pathogens
11   like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or the human immunodeficiency
12   virus (HIV), which causes AIDS; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, nurses comprise twenty-four per cent of the cases
15   of HIV infection among health care workers known or thought to
16   have been infected on the job; and
17   
18        WHEREAS, injuries from needlesticks continue to be an
19   occupational hazard because of the frequency with which they
20   occur and the severe health effects they can produce, including
21   great psychological stress because of the threat of infection
22   after an exposure occurs; and
23   
24        WHEREAS, legislation was enacted in California last year
25   which requires all health care facilities in that state to use
26   safer needles by August 1, 1999, and similar legislation is
27   being considered in at least eight other states; and
28   
29        WHEREAS, infections from hepatitis B among health care
30   workers significantly declined since the Occupational Safety
31   and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its bloodborne pathogen
32   standard in 1991, so that the rate of hepatitis B infections is
33   now lower than the incidence rate for the general population;
34   and
35   

 
Page 2                                                     50
                                  S.R. NO.              S.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        WHEREAS, OSHA recently collected information on strategies
 2   that have been successfully implemented in the workplace to
 3   reduce the likelihood of contaminated needle injuries through
 4   the use of safer medical devices; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, although safe needles exist today that have
 7   safety features such as protective shields over the needles or
 8   mechanisms that automatically retract the needle after use,
 9   most health care facilities continue to use unsafe needles; and
10   
11        WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii must take appropriate
12   measures to better protect nurses and other health care workers
13   from contaminated needles; now, therefore,
14   
15        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
16   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, that all
17   health care systems in the State of Hawaii have in place by
18   January 1, 2000, workplace safety protocols addressing
19   needlestick injuries and safer medical devices, including
20   retractable syringes, to assure workplace safety; and
21   
22        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
23   Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health, Hawaii
24   Health Systems Corporation, Hawaii Nurses' Association,
25   Healthcare Association of Hawaii, Hawaii State Primary Care
26   Association, Hawaii Medical Association, Hawaii Dental
27   Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association (Unit 9),
28   and the Dean of the University of Hawaii School of Nursing.