The significant occupational risks faced by healthcare workers from contaminated needles was brought to the attention of the European Commission more than two years ago, and since then many communications on the subject have been sent to Commissioner Ίpidla, from myself and numerous concerned Members of the Parliament.
Following a very strong committee and plenary vote on a motion for a resolution, there has been a formal call for better regulation to protect healthcare workers from needle-stick injuries, included in the European Parliament report on promoting health and safety in the workplace (A6-0029/2005) of February 2005. In the time that has elapsed since this request substantially more than half a million additional injuries will have occurred. Some of these will lead to potentially fatal infections, such as HIV and hepatitis C, being acquired and many more will cause significant emotional anguish for the healthcare workers and their families.
As the European Parliament, and the specific Members concerned, have never received a satisfactory response to our communications and requests for action, would the Commission please indicate when it will be taking decisive action by recommending an amendment to the Biological Agents Directive (2000/54/EC(1)) in order to provide legislative protection for workers exposed to these risks?