Needlestick Injuries: Workers’ Compensation For Healthcare Professionals

Needlestick Injuries: Workers’ Compensation For Healthcare Professionals

Needlestick Injuries are injuries which happen when a nurse or other healthcare provider is pricked by a potentially-contaminated needle while at work. This could be because of difficulty in recapping the needle, a sudden movement from a patient or passing the needle to a coworker.

Whatever the cause, these injuries are a serious threat to Minnesota nurses: needlestick injuries can cause infection from blood-borne pathogens (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, C-diff, and HIV) as well as debilitating psychological stress.

What’s more, these injuries are common. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that there are 600,000 to 800,000 needlestick injuries each year in the United States. It’s not just nurses who are at risk—blood bank employees, dental workers, firefighters, paramedics and home healthcare workers can also be affected.

A needle-related injury will be treated as a needlestick case if the injury happened when the needle was in contact with another person’s body (or with other potentially hazardous material) before the worker was injured. Minnesota has its own state regulations on what workplace safety measures an employer must take to combat needlestick injuries, but Minnesota employers are also required to comply with federal regulations to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to blood-borne pathogens through sharps injuries.

If you suffer a needlestick injury on the job, workers’ compensation is available to you. Exposure to occupational disease is considered a personal injury, so the same workers’ compensation benefits that are available for on-the-job personal injuries are available to you. These include permanent partial disability and temporary total disability. After you’ve received medical attention, talk to a lawyer immediately about how to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits based on your injury.

Want to speak with an attorney who handles needlestick or sharp injuries? Contact:

Workers' Compensation

Christopher Rosengren
Rosengren, Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office Chtd.