Back-room maneuverings by the hospital industry are slowing legislation designed to prevent hospital workers from being stabbed by used needles, according to supporters of the measure.

The proposed legislation would require that hospitals use new types of needles specially designed to prevent injuries. According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, as many as one million health care workers a year are injured by needles. About 800 workers a year become infected with hepatitis, and as of 1998, the CDC had documented 54 cases in which workers contracted HIV from needles.