On The Stick Selling Safe Sharps
safe sharps has just become the hottest distributor opportunity
since latex gloves. Manufacturer reps from safe sharps companies
think they've died and gone to heaven-they don't even need
to get out of bed in the morning and their sales will skyrocket!
Why all the hoopla? Because of the Needlestick Safety and
Prevention Act, signed into law in late 2000 by President
Clinton, requiring health care facilities to review and make
available safety needle devices.
national law (Public Law No: 106-430) is designed to protect
health care workers from accidental needlesticks. It amends
and strengthens OSHA's current Bloodborne Pathogens standard,
requiring all health care facilities to:
and make available sharps with engineered protection features
and needleless systems
health care workers in the selection of such safety needle
a sharps injury log
market potential is enormous for both manufacturers and distributors.
Currently, less than 20% of sharps in use are classified as
"safety" sharps. First-generation safety devices
that sheathe needles sell for one to three times the price
of a conventional product. Second-generation products, the
so-called retractable products, sell for considerably more-and
that's if you can even get them!
is indeed an opportunity worth pursuing.
On the Stick!
If you have not yet jumped on this opportunity, you're nuts!
Before now, when you've mentioned safety needles to accounts,
you've likely heard:
want me to buy what? That's three times what we pay now!"
must be crazy! Our doctors will never go for that!"
me where the law says I have to do this!"
of the protests you hear, the bottom line is that every medical
practice in America must evaluate all available sharps and
select the safest device based on their evaluation. OSHA will
impose heavy fines on practices that use sharps products without
safety features and are not evaluating alternative safety
get excited about this opportunity, spread the word, and share
manufacturers' resources (sample kits, documentation, videos,
etc.) with your customers. Invite your local safe sharps manufacturer
rep out to dinner and learn all you can about these products.
as a value-added service, train customers on how to use safety
devices, help them evaluate products, and assist them in managing
the conversion. Five years from now, you'll be really glad
you did. And, believe it or not, those same customers who
are concerned about price increases now will thank you for
making their conversion painless.
Sources & Other Cool Stuff To Give Customers
"Doubting Thomas's," the actual law is available
Search using bill number HR 5178.ENR.
Sharps Evaluation Guides and Forms are available for free
sample special-edition OSHA Watch newsletter on the safe
sharps regulation can be sent to interested customers. Call
Quality America at 828-645-3661.
following are some of the rationale for the Needlestick
Safety and Prevention Act, as cited in the law itself:
with the 1991 OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard has
significantly reduced the risk that workers will contract
a bloodborne disease in the course of their work.
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated
that more than 380,000 percutaneous injuries from contaminated
sharps occur annually among health care workers in United
States hospitals. Estimates for all health care settings
are as high as 600,000 to 800,000.
publication of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard in
1991, the number and assortment of effective engineering
controls available to employers has increased substantially.
have demonstrated that the use of safer medical devices,
such as needleless systems and sharps with engineered
sharps injury protections, can be extremely effective
in reducing injuries, provided they are part of an overall
bloodborne pathogen risk-reduction program.
CDC estimates that 62% to 88% of sharps injuries can
potentially be prevented by the use of safer medical
and education in the use of safer medical devices and
safer work practices are significant elements in the
prevention of percutaneous exposure incidents. Staff
involvement in the device selection and evaluation process
is also important