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.

Only the most serious safety incidents are intended to be notifiable, the two types are explained below.

Notify us only if either of these two types of medical treatment are required

SafeWork NSW must be notified by calling 13 10 50 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.

SafeWork NSW must also be notified if an infection occurs as a result of an exposure incident, such as:

  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • HIV

Further information

This fact sheet 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 fact sheet regarding medical treatment within 48 hours of exposure to a substance.

Read the legislative requirements relating to incident notification.

Read the SafeWork NSW Hepatitis & HIV guide for information on preventing work-related exposures to these diseases

Contact NSW Health on 02 9391 9000 for health-related information on hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Back to top