Needlestick Injury Compensation
What’s a needlestick injury?
Needlestick injuries are caused when needles or other sharp objects accidentally puncture the skin.
Medical staff are at particularly high risk of needlestick injuries – especially if they work with hypodermic needles, scalpels or any sharp medical equipment. But other job-roles such as cleaners or construction workers might also be at risk.
Aside from the pain caused by the cut or puncture-wound, needlestick injuries can cause blood viruses, which have long-lasting consequences on your health.
For example, a dirty medical needle can put you at risk of serious conditions such as Tetanus, Hepatitis and HIV – all of which can be potentially life-changing.
If you work with sharp objects, then your employer has a legal duty to make sure the correct training and safety procedures are in place to avoid you from being hurt. If they haven’t followed safety regulations and you’ve suffered from a needlestick injury as a result, then we may be able to help you make a claim.
To find out whether you could claim, or for free advice, you can get in touch with us on 0800 234 6438.
Common causes of needlestick injuries
Although they’re usually associated with medical staff, anyone can suffer from a needlestick injury – this is because any of us can be cut or pinpricked by an unclean needle.
People who work in cleaning or waste disposal might also be at risk, especially if sharps haven’t been disposed of properly. Construction workers can also suffer from similar injuries because of protruding nails or barbed wire, which can sometimes cause tetanus or other blood viruses.
Many people think that needlestick injuries ‘just happen’ and that they’re just a risk we all live with. But in many cases, these types of injuries can be avoided if your employer follows health and safety rules to keep you safe.
If you’re unsure whether you might be able to make a claim, then it’s best to speak to us for free on 0800 234 6438 – we’ll be able to let you know whether we think you’ll be able to make a successful case and can answer your questions.
Needlestick injuries in the workplace
To make sure you’re safe at work, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) gives official safety procedures which your employer should carry out to avoid injuries happening in the workplace.
For example, as part of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, they should give you personal protective equipment (PPE) and training on how to handle sharp objects.
If your employer has failed to follow health and safety rules, then they’ve put you at risk and you could make a compensation claim to recover the costs caused by your injury, as well as the impact it has had on your life.
Lots of people feel uncomfortable about making a claim against their employer, because they think they might lose their job or be treated differently as a result. But there’s no need to worry about this – it would be against the law for you to be dismissed or treated unfairly.
Your compensation will usually be paid by your employer’s insurance company, and not by them personally. This means your employer won’t be left with a bill they can’t afford, as they’re legally required to take out Employers’ Liability Insurance to pay out for any compensation claims made against them.
Injuries or illnesses caused by hazardous substances
If you work with sharp medical objects, then you may also often handle hazardous chemicals or biological agents, such as bodily fluids.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 sets out regulations to avoid you suffering an injury or condition because of these substances. For example, your employer should:
- Store and dispose of contaminated equipment properly
- Carry out assessments to make sure you and your colleagues aren’t at high risk
- Train you on the risks involved in handling contaminated bodily fluids
If any major accidents do happen while you’re at work, your employer should report it – the HSE and local authorities will then decide whether the safety standards in your workplace need to be investigated further.
Why make a compensation claim?
Although claiming compensation might seem like a lot of stress at an already difficult time in your life, we’ve seen how much of a difference the money can make.
When you speak to us, we’ll be able to put you in touch with a specialist solicitor who will talk to you for free. They’ll build up a clear picture of what happened to you and will then work out your compensation based on the effect your needlestick injury has had on your life and finances.
This means your compensation could cover:
- Any lost earnings from time off work
- Your physical pain and suffering
- Any transport or accommodation costs
- Social events or hobbies you’ve missed out on
- Your rehabilitation needs
The first step is to get in touch with us for free on 0800 234 6438 or fill in one of our secure online forms to arrange a call back. We’ll never pressure you into making a claim, so if you’d just like answers to your questions, we’re here to help.