EU Regulations place greater duties on Healthcare Employers to prevent Occupational Needle Stick Injuries

The EU has adopted new Regulations, European Union  (Prevention of Sharps Injuries in the healthcare sector) Regulations 2014 Prevention of Sharps Injuries in the Healthcare Sector) to prevent needle stick injuries and blood-borne infections to healthcare workers from sharp objects such as hypodermic needles, suture needles, scalpels, and other blades, IV Catheter stylets and phlebotomy needles which are required for the exercise of specific healthcare activities which can cut or rupture the skin or otherwise cause injury or infection.

Thankfully needle stick injuries are rare and the chance of any health problems resulting from them are relatively low.  A sharps injury is an incident that causes a sharp instrument to penetrate the skin giving rise to the risk of infection and causing injury.

Unfortunately, nurses and other healthcare professionals can be exposed during their work as a result of needlestick injuries to serious infections such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C Virus and HIV.

The Regulations apply to all Employers and Employees in the healthcare sector. This includes medical practitioners, nursing assistants, dental nurses, cleaners, paramedics and home carers.

Duties on Employers under the Regulations  

  • Employers must select appropriate controls to minimise identified risks.
  • Assess the risk of injury from sharps.
  • Prevent recapping of needles
  • Provide suitable PPE to employees at risk of injury /infection
  • Ensure safe disposal of used sharps
  • Implement controls through safe working procedures and the provision of information and training to staff to minimise the risk of injury.
  • Have appropriate procedures in place to report accidents and to follow up to ensure proper care for an injured employee.

Reducing the risk of needle stick injuries

Sharp injuries occur for a number of reasons including the type of device used, procedures are undertaken, lack of training and safe use and disposal of needles and sharps. The HSE has published guidelines on Sharps injuries in which it advises all healthcare facilities to have a policy on the management of needlestick and other Sharps related injuries and blood and body fluid exposure.

This guideline has stated that Sharps can include.

  • Needles
  • Scalpel
  • Sharps tip of IV sets
  • Contaminated slides
  • Stitch cutters
  • Guide wires
  • Razors
  • Bloodstains/ contaminated glass

If you’ve suffered a sharps injury in the workplace, the Irish Claims Assessment Service is here to help. Get in touch to find out more about needlestick injury claims or use the online compensation calculator.

Follow us for the latest updates & news

Recent News

FBD trims estimate of business-interruption costs

Insurer FBD has slightly lowered its estimate of costs linked to business-interruption insurance to €42 million, from a previous figure of €43 million. The costs arise from a High Court ruling in 2021 in a test case involving four pub owners. The court ruled that the...

Payout reduced for woman injured after alleged fall in Dunnes Stores

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has reduced an award by €20,000 to a woman who claimed she broke her ankle when she fell off a step-ladder while organising shelves at Dunnes Stores five years ago. The supermarket chain appealed the €120,000 High Court award made to...

Recent Articles

Private Investigator use in Ireland

Private investigators are individuals who are hired to carry out investigations on behalf of individuals or organizations. In Ireland, the use of private investigators is governed by a range of laws and regulations. In this blog post, we will explore the use of...

Boundary Disputes in Ireland

Boundary disputes can be one of the most stressful and disruptive situations a homeowner can face. They can arise in a variety of ways, such as when one property owner erects a fence or wall that encroaches on their neighbor's land, or when one party claims a right of...

Claims for Parental Alienation in Ireland

Parental Alienation is a term used to describe a situation where one parent deliberately undermines the relationship between the other parent and their child during or after a matrimonial dispute. Parental Alienation can cause long-lasting harm to both the parent who...

A Growing Problem: Japanese Knotweed in Ireland

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant species that is causing serious environmental and financial problems across Ireland. Not only does this plant pose a significant threat to native wildlife and ecosystems, but it can also cause significant damage to buildings and...

Join our Panel

You May Also Like...

Don`t copy text!