When to notify blood, body substance and needlestick injuries

Workers in a wide range of industries have the potential to be exposed to injury and illness through contact with blood or body substances via contaminated needlestick/sharps injuries and splash exposures.

Blood and body substances can contain viruses and if a worker has been exposed, even though the risk may be small, they could contract hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

Notify us by calling 131050

SafeWork NSW must be notified by calling 131050 when a worker has received any of the following types of medical treatment within 48 hours of an exposure incident involving contact with blood or body substances:

1. A worker who has been exposed to blood or body substances and

  • has never been vaccinated against hepatitis B, or
  • is a non-responder to previous hepatitis B vaccination courses
  • and, following the exposure incident, requires a
    • hepatitis B vaccination and
    • hepatitis B immunoglobulin

2. A worker requires post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV infection.

3. An infection occurs as a result of the exposure, such as:

  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV


This factsheet has been developed in consultation with NSW Health to supplement information in the last section of the ‘Types of treatment’ table in the SafeWork Australia Incident notification factsheet to clearly detail the three types of high-risk blood and body substance exposure incident situations that must be notified to SafeWork NSW.

Read the legislative requirements relating to incident notification.


  • Body substances include any human secretion other than blood or sweat
  • Prophylactic treatment is medicine or device intended to prevent disease

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