Staff who have become infected by dirty needles in drug-ridden jails have won £734,000 in payouts over the last 3 years. Blenkharn Environmental have revealed that the settlements, including legal costs, were made to as few as nine people.

The money was paid for Needle Stick Injuries (NSIs) and blood-borne illnesses passed on by them, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Many needle injuries are caused when officers search cells for illegal drugs.

Unfortunately, this is an ever-present risk and is a useful reminder that sharps injury risk is not a problem solely for healthcare professionals but for many other professions including prison officers, police, and many workers across the entire waste management sector.

We must not forget the considerable harm caused by the casual attitude and unsafe disposal of unprotected sharps by healthcare professionals that place those in the waste management sector at great risk. Sadly, not all people who are affected are well-represented to obtain the best safety systems and compensation if the worst happens.

NeedleSmart has developed market-leading, patented technology, that heats hypodermic needles into a molten state prior to compressing it into a ball. The process takes just a fraction of a second to create a safe, sealed sphere of sterile metal that is no longer sharp and is completely sterile. The globally unique product range destroys contaminated medical sharp waste enabling a safer working environment for the Healthcare Professional, a direct cost saving and potential to create sustainable recycling. Needles that have been used in a NeedleSmart device are completely sterile and non sharp, preventing Needle Stick Injuries and the subsequent potential contraction of blood borne illnesses to those who may come into contact with them. The needles are also completely destroyed meaning they can not be reused. 

Blenkharn Environmental is a research-driven consultancy which focusses on healthcare, occupational and environmental microbiology, hygiene, infection prevention, healthcare and sharps waste management and bio safety. Read the full story here http://www.ianblenkharn.com/?p=12739.

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