On February 11, 2010, the majority of European Union (EU) parliament agreed to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries in hospitals.

The proposal for an EU Framework Agreement was drafted by representatives of hospital employers and workers, Elisabeth Lynne of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the U.K. and Pervenche Bérès of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in France.

A formal Directive will be voted on at a future council meeting. Attention has been drawn to this issue in parliament since July of 2006 when a call was made to create legislation to protect healthcare workers in Europe against the 1.2 million needlestick injuries that occur annually. Needlestick injuries can potentially transmit life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis B and C as well as HIV.

The Spanish General Council of Nursing is organizing an EU Summit at the beginning of June to further discuss this issue. Spain is one of the leaders in the implementation of safety devices in Europe.

More on this issue can be found in the links below:

Preventing Needlestick Injuries in the Health Sector

A Europe Without Needlestick Injuries