CASE EXPLAINED: Needlestick injury claim
The client worked in the hospital as cleaner. Her responsibilities included collecting rubbish bins from rooms. She lifted the rubbish bag when cleaning the room. Whilst doing this a needle got stuck in her hand. She was surprised as she has not expected this type of rubbish here. The needle was thrown in the wrong bin. The client has since found out that the needles may come from patients who are sick and she could have caught an illness or disease.
There are specific guidelines in place regarding needlestick and other healthcare waste disposal as there is such a risk of severe illnesses and conditions incurred as a result (The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002). Employers are liable for injury compensation if they do not follow these guidelines as they are responsible for safe working environment (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). They should provide clear instructions and training related to the waste disposal by providing:
- special bags, bags and labelling
- regular waste collections
- correct personal protective equipment
In some cases the risk assessment carried at the work place may show the need of vaccination to lower the risk of an injury.
Another common cause of accidents are negligent work procedures. Even though the guidance is in place another employee can forget how to follow them or simply do not pay enough attention. In this case, again employer or his insurer will be liable for personal injury compensation payment.
INJURIES: Needlestick injury
Needlestick injury involves physical symptoms including swelling and bleeding. Healthcare workers are at risk of exposure to blood – borne disease such as Tetanus, Hepatitis or HIV. If the needle contained traces of blood or other fluids some disease or viruses can be transmitted on the client.
It is important to know that although there might not be wound or disease following the accident at work our clients can claim for psychological discomfort. Our clients reported enormous stress related to regular heath check ups to monitor the health after the injury. The fear of contracting disease can change life perspective instantly resulting in anxiety.
WHAT WE DO
We ascertain whether the employer has ensured that working practices adhere to the regulations regarding the storage usage and disposal of needles and sharp objects. Once a medical expert recommends we will arrange for you to have sessions with psychological experts if you feel anxiety. If the injury is more severe we will make sure that every aspect of the claim is carefully reviewed including further job prospects the disease can have impact on. We regularly consult between solicitors about cases in to make sure our solicitors share their knowledge and experience to maximize the results for the client.
It is important to collect all evidence related to the injury including photographs of the needles, wound, receipts, and dates of medical appointments. We will make sure you can get the full compensation for:
- Pain and suffering including anxiety
- Loss of earnings
- Medical and care expenses
- Travel expenses
- Other accident related cost
We recommend contacting us as soon as possible to discuss the heads of the claim and all necessary evidence.
If you want us to assess your claim for the accident please contact us on 0161 639 0399.
You can also find more information about the injury claim process here.
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