Needlestick insurance is becoming big business in the US.
It is a special kind of insurance cover that people might be interested in when they work directly with needles and syringes, covering not only needlestick injury but similar injuries from other sharp items, and blood splashes to broken skin, eyes or mouth.
Those who work in healthcare, dentistry and body art (tattooing and piercing) may choose needlestick insurance to ensure access to high quality specialist medical care, and to provide for on-going healthcare and living costs if infection does happen. In the absence of a comprehensive health service that is free at the point of care that we enjoy in the UK, this seems to be a sensible precaution.
Does needlestick insurance have a place in the UK? Probably yes. An ordinary household policy will be inadequate, even if this includes personal injury or illness cover. Specialised needlestick insurance cover should ensure rapid access to an appropriate specialist that is sometimes lacking, or extremely slow, in the NHS. In the event of late complications, whether infection of psychiatric problems, that prevent the individual from working normally some additional financial support will be essential as state aid is inevitably far from generous.
Needlestick insurance seems to be a sensible precaution, even with the introduction of safe sharps. For those at continuing high risk such as ancillary workers and waste handlers this seems particularly appropriate and employers might consider funding universal cover.