Needle Stick Injuries

  • Do you work with needles or ‘sharps’?
  • Have you pricked your finger at work whilst cleaning?
  • Have you pricked your finger at someone’s Premises?


If you have suffered a needle stick injury you may well be able to make a needle stick compensation claim.

What are ‘sharps’?

‘Sharps’ are needles, blades, scalpels and other medical instruments which could penetrate the skin causing injury but more over, huge worry.

How frequent are needle stick injuries?

Figures from the Health Protection Agency show that the number of health professionals who have suffered needle stick injuries at work has doubled in the last 10 years:

  • In 2002 there were 271 incidents of needle stick injuries
  • In 2011 there were 541 incidents of needle stick injuries

How could it affect you?

If you are pricked by a needle stick (known as ‘sharps’) which is contaminated there could be up to 20 potential problems including:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • Severe stress because of the transmission risk

What should you do if you suffer a needle stick injury?

  • Let the wound gently bleed under running water
  • Wash the wound using soap
  • Dry the wound and cover with a waterproof dressing
  • Seek medical advice
  • Report the injury to your employer

What Laws Apply?

Relevant legislation applying to needle stick injuries includes.:

  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998
  • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
  • The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999

What do the specialists say?

David Healey from Carter & Carter Solicitors commented:

“We have acted for lots of clients who have made a needle stick compensation claim.  These vary from Hospital staff and shopping centre cleaners to a member of the public who suffered a needle stick injury in a cinema because it had not been cleaned properly before the film they went to watch. With the right gloves needle stick injuries are easy to avoid.  Ask yourself if the protective gloves you’ve been given by your Employer are adequate.”