What is a needlestick injury?
Needlestick injury is the terminology used to describe a traumatic experience of sustaining an injury by a contaminated or dirty, sharp object. The more commonly found needlestick injury, found in the medical practice, is as a result of a scalpel, needle or other similar medical equipment has broken the skin of more than one person. Another common cause would be when disposing of litter/rubbish that contains sharp objects/instruments.
Needlestick injuries put the person who has sustained the injury at high risk of blood viruses.
It is an easy thought to brush an accident aside, a large number of people think “accidents happen” or “I knew of these risks when I took the job”. Especially when at work, accidents shouldn’t just happen and the majority of accidents are avoidable. Safety, training and certain procedures are all put in place to ensure the safety of you and your colleagues. Therefore, if a lack of these procedures and safety measures was the cause of your accident and injury, then you have been a victim of negligence and could be entitled to compensation.
It’s easy to find out if you can make a claim, just get in touch with our legal advice team today on 08000 250 250 or fill out our online form, in one quick confidential phone call we can tell you if you’re eligible to claim. All our calls are free with no-obligation, but if you decide to process a claim we can get you set up today.
Who is likely to sustain a needlestick injury?
Needlestick injuries are commonly found in workplaces due to negligence such as lack of training or safety measures.
There is a particularly high risk for workers in social care, the NHS or the private medical sector, this is due to the fact the regularly use scalpels, needles and other sharp medical equipment to fulfil their job requirements.
However, there is a risk for anybody to sustain a needlestick injury, there is a risk, without the correct safety assessments, that anyone could be cut or pinpricked by an unsanitized, dirty piece of equipment.
For example, a protruding nail can cause a risk for a construction site worker, even the smallest of cuts can cause life-changing effects due to the risk of infections such as HIV or Tetanus.
It is a distressing experience within itself to sustain a puncture wound, however, when the risk of infection is present a needlestick injury can be extremely upsetting.
If you have suffered a needlestick injury either at work, in a public place or whilst in the care of a medical professional and contracted a life-changing infection you could claim compensation.
As well as helping with the immediate impact of your life-changing injury compensation can also assist with the future costs your injury may have.
If you’d like to find out more about getting the compensation you deserve then contact our team on 08000 250 250 or fill out our online form. We can give you free, confidential, no-obligation advice. We hope your injury has to lead to life-changing consequences but in the event that it has then we can help you today.
How the law is here to protect your safety at work
In the UK there are laws, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), that outline safety procedures and steps that should be taken by employers to reduce the risk of injuries in a workplace.
In 1974, the Health and Safety at Work Act was also introduced which is also to protect your health and safety whilst at work.
If an employer has failed to meet the HSE’s regulations or maintain the responsibilities outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, then their employees will be at a greater risk of needlestick injuries and they will be considered as negligent meaning they will be at fault due to not keeping their employees safe whilst at work.
The Health and Safety at Work Act also provides outlines regarding your safety when hazardous substances and equipment are being used, including labelling materials and providing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to all employees.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure these safety rules are abided by and implemented. If your employer neglected their responsibility and you have been injured as a result then you could be eligible for compensation.
If the thought of claiming for your workplace injury is worrying you, we understand, it is actually a common concern, but it would be illegal if your employer was to dismiss you or let your claim have a negative impact on your job and further legal action can be taken against them if they were to do this.
My injury was caused by a hazardous substance, can I still claim?
The Approved Code of Practice, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002, for workplaces where hazardous chemicals and biological agents are handled set out outlines including:
- Training on the risks involved in handling contaminated bodily fluids
- Regular assessments regarding the risk to all employees
- Providing the correct storage/disposal of contaminated equipment
- Reporting injuries that involve the infection of an employee
COSHH and other documents alike are there for the safety of you and your colleagues. They are to ensure your employer holds all the information required to protect your safety and keep you properly trained to fulfil your job in a safe workplace.
If regulations such as COSHH and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 are neglected and not properly actioned, accidents can happen, some of which can lead to life-changing consequences.
If you want to know more about how you could be eligible to claim then contact our team today on 08000 250 250 or fill out our online form, we can answer any queries you may have, guide you on the process and understand your personal encounter in a free, confidential chat with no-obligation.
Your employer’s responsibility to report your injury
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013, requires an employer to report major accidents and injuries that have occurred in the workplace.
After an employer has reported an accident and injury, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities will be notified and will assess whether there is a requirement for the workplace and accident to be investigated any further, they will also assess if there are any continued risks for employees.
Regardless of the size of the cut/wound caused, needlestick injuries can fall under RIDDOR, this documents how severe this type of injury can be.
I have suffered a needlestick injury, can I claim?
Suffering an injury at work due to your employer’s failure act or lack of action is likely to mean that you are eligible to claim compensation as they have been negligent. An employer may be at fault for your injury if:
- Relevant safety regulations have been neglected and not implemented
- You have been provided with the correct protective equipment or correct equipment to your job
- You were required to do a task you were not qualified to do
- They have failed to provide training, or have provided the incorrect type of training
If a situation similar to the above had lead to the cause of your injury then you could make a claim. Get in touch today on 08000 250 250 or fill out our online form and we can give you the advice you need, answer any questions and even set up your claim today.
If you’re still not sure if your employer was at fault then still get in touch. Every claim is different and your employer owes you a duty of care, if you feel they may have breached this duty then our legal advisors are here to help, we can assess your situation and tell you in one quick call if you have a claim.
How Will I Fund My Needlestick Injury Claim?
Here at Direct Solicitors, we can offer No Win No Fee agreements, meaning our solicitors will work on a success fee basis rather than charging you any upfront costs. No Win No Fee means you will not have to worry about paying upfront for your legal fees and if you don’t win any compensation you will not owe us any fee, there are no hidden terms and/or conditions.