What is a needlestick injury?
A needlestick injury is a term used to describe the traumatic experience of being injured by a contaminated or dirty, sharp object. Typically, needlestick injuries (also known as sharps injuries) are the result of medical accidents where medical equipment, such as needles or scalpels, have broken the skin of more than one person. They can also result from disposing of rubbish or litter containing sharp instruments.
When this happens, the person who's suffered a cut or wound from the used piece of equipment is at risk of blood viruses.
We know that following an accident it’s typical to think ‘accidents happen’, or if your accident happened at work, that ‘you knew the risks when you took the position’. But accidents don’t just happen and many accidents are avoidable. This is especially true in the workplace, where safety training and procedures are in place to ensure your safety. In fact, if a lack of correct safety measures was the reason for your injury, then you're a victim of negligence and you may be entitled to compensation.
You can easily find out if we can help you claim compensation with one free call to us on. After a brief chat with us, you could be starting your journey to compensation or have the advice you were looking for after your accident.
Who's at risk of a needlestick injury?
People most commonly suffer needlestick injuries (sharps injuries), at work, where there has been a lack of training or safety precautions put in place. This is particularly the case for people who work in social care, the NHS or the private medical sector, where they may regularly use needles, scalpels and sharp medical equipment as part of their job.
In reality, anybody can suffer a needlestick injury. This is because any of us can be cut or pinpricked with a dirty piece of equipment. Sharps injuries don’t just affect people who work in the medical profession, things like protruding nails can also put people in the construction industry in danger, for example. Even with a small cut, like a pinprick from a nail, there is a risk of infections, such as Tetanus, Hepatitis or HIV.
Suffering a puncture wound can be a distressing experience in itself, but when there is a risk of further infection, suffering a needlestick injury can be particularly upsetting.
We understand that you may be seeking compensation following a life-changing infection, so if you’ve suffered a needlestick injury, either in a public place, at work or while under the care of medical professionals, please contact us to find out how we can use our 22 years’ experience to help you.
We hope that your injury hasn't led to life-changing repercussions, but if it has, we can help you claim the financial compensation you deserve. Your settlement can assist you with the costs your injury may have on your future, as well as help with the immediate impact your injury has had on your life.
To start your claim now, or get advice about claiming, please call us on. Alternatively, you can read on for more information about the safety regulations put in place by the Government to keep you safe at work.
Your safety and the law
For your protection, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) clearly outlines safety procedures and steps that should be taken by your employer, when there is a risk of injuries in your workplace.
You're also protected by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
If your employer has failed to meet the HSE's recommendations and regulations or uphold the responsibilities outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act, then not only are needlestick injuries more likely to occur, but your employer can also be considered at fault because they failed to keep you safe.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, there are specific references to your safety when hazardous substances and equipment are handled. These include labelling materials, such as blood or chemicals, and providing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees.
It’s the responsibility of your employer to make sure that these safety rules are followed and implemented. If your employer has failed in either following or appropriately implementing these safety rules and you were injured as a result, then you may be able to claim for compensation.
You may also feel relieved to know that the law protects you and your job when you make a compensation claim against your employer.
We understand that the thought of claiming against your employer can cause anxiety, because you may feel it will negatively impact your position within your workplace, or that you could lose your job. However, if either of these things were to happen, your employer would have acted illegally and further legal action could be taken. You can read more about job security and compensation here.
Injuries caused by hazardous substances
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 is the Approved Code of Practice for workplaces where hazardous chemicals and biological agents, such as bodily fluids, are handled.
These regulations include:
- Training you on the risks involved in handling contaminated bodily fluids
- Providing the right storage, or disposal of contaminated equipment
- Regularly assessing the risk to you and your colleagues’ health
- Reporting any injuries that involve the infection of an employee
Documents such as COSHH are there for your safety. They ensure your employer has all the information needed to keep you safe and properly trained to do your job in a safe workplace.
When regulations like COSHH or the Health and Safety at Work Act are ignored, life-changing accidents can happen.
While we’re unable to fully understand what you might be going through, we can help ease your financial stress by helping you start your journey to compensation. Contact us today onto find out if you can make a no win no fee claim.
Reporting of Injuries
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 require your employer to report any major accidents and injuries that happen in your workplace.
When your employer reports these type of accidents, the HSE and local authorities are notified and can assess whether there is a need for your workplace and the accident to be investigated further and whether there is a continued risk to you and your colleagues.
The fact that needlestick injuries can fall under RIDDOR shows that this type of injury can be very severe, regardless of the size of cut or wound they cause.
Can you make a needlestick injury claim?
Anybody who's suffered an injury at work because of their employer's incorrect action or lack of action is likely to have a compensation claim. Some examples of how your employer may have been at fault for your accident are where they have:
- Neglected to implement the relevant safety regulations
- Failed to provide training, or provided the wrong type of training
- Failed to provide you with the correct protective equipment or the right equipment to do your role
- Required you to complete a task you were not qualified for
If any of the above sounds similar to the situation that led to your injury, then you could make a claim. You can contact us for free advice, or to start your claim on. All of our calls are confidential, and we won't pass your details on to anybody without your clear permission – there's also absolutely no pressure to start your claim.
We recommend that you contact us even if you're unsure if your employer was at fault for your accident. Not only will you be able to potentially begin the process of claiming compensation, but you'll also be highlighting a safety risk to your employer. They may not have been aware of the danger to you and your colleagues and as a result of finding out, they could take action to hopefully prevent your colleagues from experiencing the same thing as you.
Making a no win no fee claim
There's no financial risk to you if you do start your claim with us, as all of our solicitors can handle your claim on a no win no fee basis. That means if your claim isn't successful, you won't pay a penny.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor will have already agreed on a fee for their services with you – so you'll know exactly what to expect.
There are some exceptions to our no win no fee agreement, but these are rare and if they do apply to you, your solicitor will make you aware before you start your claim and discuss alternatives with you.