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Ontario unions say it’s time for safety-engineered sharps to be law


Toronto, ON – Three unions representing about 130,000 Ontario health care workers say it’s time for Ontario to catch up with the rest of Canada and make the use of safety-engineered sharps mandatory in the province’s health-care facilities.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association, the Service Employees International Union Canada, and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union are speaking out in support of a proposed bill that would make the use of safety needles mandatory in all health-care workplaces where workers are exposed to blood-borne pathogens.

They say this would prevent 33,000 injuries a year in Ontario and save millions of dollars. The unions say research shows that the annual cost of testing and treating needlestick injuries in Ontario, in health care alone, is $64 million.

In addition to nurses, the issue also affects workers in public laboratories, waste management, and others.