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Impact of needlestick safety legislation on nurses injuries.

Phillips EK; Conaway MR; Parker G; Jagger JC
APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition, October 29 - November 2, 2011, Washington, D.C. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2011 Nov; :238716
Trunk flexion results in adverse mechanical effects on the spine and is associated with a higher incidence of low back pain. To examine the effects of creep deformation on trunk behaviours, participants were exposed to full trunk flexion in several combinations of exposure duration and external load. Trunk mechanical and neuromuscular behaviours were obtained pre- and post-exposure and during recovery using sudden perturbations. Intrinsic trunk stiffness decreased with increasing flexion duration and in the presence of the external load. Recovery of intrinsic stiffness required more time than the exposure duration and was influenced by exposure duration. Reflexive trunk responses increased immediately following exposure but recovered quickly (approximately 2.5 min). Alterations in reflexive trunk behaviour following creep deformation exposures may not provide adequate compensation to allow for complete recovery of concurrent reductions in intrinsic stiffness, which may increase the risk of injury due to spinal instability. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: An increased risk of low back injury may result from flexion-induced disturbances to trunk behaviours. Such effects, however, appear to depend on the type of flexion exposure, and have implications for the design of work involving trunk flexion. The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 required caregiver input in reviewing and selecting safety-engineered devices. It gave nurses influence in decisions regarding device purchases, providing opportunities to influence their own occupational health and safety. This study measures legislative impact on nurse injuries. Methods: A historic prospective design used data from the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet), a sharps injury surveillance network. Data from the years 1995-2005 reflected a total of 23908 needlestick injuries from a cumulative total of 85 hospitals. Variables included job category, when and where the injury occurred. Annual injury rates were reported as injuries per 100 personnel (FTEs) according to AHA. Nurse FTEs were estimated as 30% of all hospital FTEs. Results: Overall, nurse sharps injury rates decreased approximately 40% from the pre-legislation period to the post-legislation (P=0.006), reflecting approximately 2.5 fewer injuries per 100 nurse FTEs, and proportion of all injuries attributed to nurses decreased by 10%. Among nurses, the proportion of injuries before and after device use decreased. In-room injuries reflected a larger proportion of all nurse injuries in the post-legislation period. Conclusions: The legislation appears to have had a positive effect on nurse injuries- the proportion and rate of injury have decreased significantly. In addition, the patterns of injury, both where and when nurse injuries occurred, shifted. National policy, enacted and enforced, can make a difference in the health and safety of nurses.
Health-hazards; Risk-factors; Humans; Men; Women; Hospital-equipment; Needlestick-injuries; Nurses; Nursing; Accident-potential; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Health-hazards; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Needlestick-injuries; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-medicine; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Surveillance-programs; Author Keywords: Occupational injury and death; Nurses
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APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition, October 29 - November 2, 2011, Washington, D.C.
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University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division