The consequences of suffering an accident at work involving a needle seem wildly disproportionate to the often minuscule size of the offending instrument involved. What starts out as a seemingly minor prick of the finger can cause substantial anxiety and mental trauma as well as physical pain as a result of careless healthcare.
Who is most at risk from suffering an accident at work involving a needlestick?
As you would expect, those who work in medical professions are top of the ‘at risk’ list. These are people who deal with a multitude of needles throughout their everyday life.
Unsurprisingly, there are stringent and comprehensive health and safety measures in place that deal with the delivery, administration and disposal of needles. However, it should also come as no surprise that, particularly in the often frantic environment of a hospital, these guidelines sometimes slip through the net.
What exactly is a needle injury?
Needle injuries are simply when a sharp instrument, such as a hypodermic needle or a scalpel, penetrates a person’s skin by accident.
The immediate aftermath will typically see a fair amount of bleeding, as the sharpness of the offending objects means they typically puncture deep below the skin.
The appearance of blood will usually be accompanied by swelling and no shortage of pain. There is also a rather high risk of infection following these types of workplace accidents, especially if the needle has already been used.
It is this fear of infection that leads to possibly the most serious element of suffering a needle injury – the mental trauma.
All sorts of thoughts are likely to start racing through your head and peace of mind cannot be achieved until an examination by the doctor. During this period, stress levels can reach dangerous and detrimental levels.
How can accidents at work with needles be avoided?
The above demonstrates why it is so important that the rules and regulations surrounding needles and sharp objects are diligently followed.
All sharp objects should be disposed of into a designated and clearly labelled ‘sharps bin’ while all staff should be suitably trained. Bins should also be emptied regularly to avoid becoming overflown while further precautions, such as gloves, may also be necessary.
Work accident compensation may well be due following an injury at work. Accident Advice Helpline have a team of experts available 24/7 to advise and guide you through the process should you wish to make a work injury compensation claim.
Date Published: November 17, 2013
Author: David Brown