The Needlestick Safety Prevention Act passed its final hurdle in Congress on October 26 when the Senate approved the measure. The bill passed in the House of Representatives earlier in October.

The new regulations to protect eight million U.S. health care workers from potentially deadly needle injuries require hospitals and other health care employers to provide workers with needles and syringes that include safety features. Medical workers directly responsible for patient care will also have input in selecting the safe needle devices they will be asked to used.

Needle sticks injure up to 800,000 workers annually and can transmit HIV, hepatitis and other potentially deadly pathogens.

The Clinton administration has stated that the president is prepared to sign the legislation.