<< Back to Safer Needle Devices: Protecting Health Care Workers
Title: When Do Needlesticks Happen?
Type: Pie Chart
About 20% of injuries occur before or during use. These injuries usually involve clean needles and present a lower risk to employees. Up to 70% of needlesticks occur after the needle has been used (is contaminated) and before disposal. The remaining ten percent of injuries occur during or after disposal.
Three activities included in this 10% are cleaning up after a procedure has been completed, carrying out trash, and washing dirty linens. These "downstream injuries" are particularly threatening to the worker because the source of the needle is generally unknown.