Being ‘struck’ by a used and discarded needle can create significant distress and anxiety for the victim, as they wait months to know whether any life-changing injuries have been transmitted from the dirty syringe. This can cause psychological problems and affect people’s daily lives significantly whilst the results are awaited.

This week’s case involved a needlestick injury to a local authority worker who was passed a needle found on the floor of a sports hall by a two year old child. As it was being passed to our client it pricked her, breaking her skin.

The local council denied it was at fault, despite the fact that the area had not been cleaned prior to it being used for a booked class.

The case went to trial and the Judge found that the local council’s system of cleaning and inspection was not reasonable – if a two year old could find the needle then the local council employees responsible for cleaning should have been able to find it. The Judge found in our client’s favour and awarded her compensation.

Commenting on the case, Hayley Jukes from Thompsons Solicitors said: “The impact of a needlestick injury should not be downplayed; the uncertainty caused as to what someone has been exposed to can cause symptoms which impact significantly on a person’s life. Employers and occupiers of premises must ensure the systems for cleaning and inspections are fit for purpose – and it is all the more important when young children are using the area.”