Needlestick injury compensation claims are on the increase

By Blackwater Law

All employers have a duty to keep their staff safe, even if the service is being provided by a contractor on their premises.

Needlestick or sharps injuries happen when a needle or other sharp instrument inadvertently pierces the skin.  If the needle is contaminated with another persons blood or bodily fluid, then there is a real risk of infection.

Needlestick injuries are becoming more and more commonplace as appropriate precautions are not taken by staff responsible for disposing of them.  This puts those, whose job it is to handle waste, at unnecessary risk and potential suffering. When you are injured and it is not your fault you are entitled to make a needlestick injury compensation claim.

Needlestick injuries usually affect those who work in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dentists, councils and also contactors that have been contracted to remove waste.  The level of worry associated with a needlestick injury can be overwhelming as there is always the possibility of having contracted a blood borne virus, such as Hepatitis B or C or even HIV.  However, this is rare and there has not been any reported cases of HIV infection from a needlestick injury in a healthcare setting in the UK since 1999.

If you have been affected by this type of injury then you may be able to claim for the following:

  • Emotional and mental stress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Treatment costs
  • Loss of income if you are unable to work as a result of the injury

A recent study involving 98 surgeons in the UK from a large general hospital, reported that a staggering 44% confessed to having had a needlestick injury.  In conclusion, the study reflected that it was possible that frequencies like this were most likely to be under-reported.

The recommendation for disposal of sharps (needles) from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence says that:

  • Sharps should not be passed directly from hand to hand, and handling should be kept to a minimum
  • Used needles must not be bent of broken for disposal, and must not be recapped
  • Used sharps must be discarded immediately by the person generating the sharps waste into a sharps container conforming to current standards

Blackwater Law has seen a steady increase in the number of enquiries regarding needlestick injury compensation claims.  If you would like some advice about possible accidents at work, such as needlestick injury claims then call Blackwater Law on 0800 053 5500.  Claims of this nature are often processed extremely smoothly and quickly.