In 1991, to assess the risk of occupational exposure to blood or other body fluids in health-care workers (HCWs) working in the dialysis setting, properly trained interviewers used standardized questionnaires asking the 583 HCWs employed in 19 Italian dialysis units to recall exposures sustained in the previous year. On a total of 208,498 dialyses performed in the previous year, 105 (5 per 10,000 dialyses) needlesticks, and 579 (28 per 10,000 dialyses) skin/ mucous membrane contaminations were recalled. Recapping injuries were recalled in 38 cases (1.8 per 10,000 dialyses), but 67 needlestick injuries (4.1 per 10,000 dialyses) occurred during other circumstances (p = 0.006). The highest rate of skin/mucous membrane contaminations were recalled during the dialysis patient care, but more than one third of exposures occurred in other circumstances (break in blood circuit, disposal, contamination with blood-soiled equipment. To minimize the risk of occupational exposure to blood efforts must continue to increase compliance with Universal Precautions; moreover, needle designs incorporating safety features to prevent sticks are needed.