Safer needles

Needle Safety Regulation Expanded April 1, 2009

Toronto (2 April 2009) - As of April 1, 2009, the Needle Safety Regulation (O.Reg.474/07) has been expanded to include long term care homes (nursing homes, homes for the aged), psychiatric facilities, rest homes and laboratories and specimen collection centres, in addition to hospitals which were previously covered by the regulation.

To assist OPSEU members who work in workplaces newly covered by the regulation (and those still not covered), OPSEU is providing a number of guidance documents to assist health and safety representatives and Joint Health and Safety Committees work with their employers to implement the expanded regulation appropriately. OPSEU strongly encourages members to use these guidance documents and to collaborate with workers from the other health care unions to ensure the regulation is implemented.

The guidance documents are:

Ontario Regulation 474/07 Needle Safety Has Been Expanded (April 1, 2009 - archived link), which includes:

  • Background information including a letter signed by the Presidents of OPSEU, CUPE, ONA and SEIU;
  • A checklist for health care workplaces covered by the expanded regulation;
  • A checklist for health care workplaces not covered by the regulation
  • An explanation of circumstances where it may be appropriate to seek exemption from the regulation
  • A sample recommendation to the employer requesting the development of a Sharps Safety Program.

Step-by-Step Process - describes steps to take to implement the regulation in your workplace.

Legislation Background - provides an explanation of useful health and safety legislation

Sharps Safety Position - describes the unions’ position on components of a complete Sharps Safety Program and the unions’ position that all health care workplaces and all medical sharps should be covered by regulation.

Ontario Regulation 474/07 as amended.

Additional resources:

Link to Ontario Safety Association for Community and Health Care (OSACH): Planning Guide: Implementation of Safety Engineered Medical Devices: (archived).

Link to Public Services Health & Safety Association's A Planning Guide to the Implementation of Safety Engineered Medical Sharps

Vancouver Island Health Authority’s “Exposure Control Plan for Blood and Body Fluids (2007)”


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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