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DIRTY NEEDLE
CAUSES HEALTH TRAUMA

A simple MOT on a private hire vehicle has been a life-changing experience for a Glasgow motor mechanic.

John Robertson, a 32-year-old father of two, was employed by Glasgow City Council at its Possilpark depot. During the course of the MOT, in March this year, he was pricked by a needle as he reached down the back seat.
Although he has now been given the all clear, he endured three months of torment while waiting to be told if he had become infected with potentially deadly viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
The whole affair has left him angry and frustrated at what he sees as the council’s lack of help and support. He initially saw doctors at Stobhill Hospital but then thought his managers would arrange for tests to be conducted quickly.
However, he believes they were far too slow in providing access to medical tests and treatment, eventually forcing him to make his own arrangements.
John explained: "They were supposed to arrange for blood tests and counselling but I waited two weeks and then had to make the arrangements and pay for them myself. I can't believe how badly I was treated. I expected so much more."
The city council had a different view of the events, with a spokesman commenting: "We reacted speedily to the incident and fully
supported the individual concerned. He was contacted by both personnel and health and safety staff and arrangements put in place for occupational health and counselling." This incident followed shortly after a similar one when street cleaner Michael Hughes was injured by a dirty needle lying in a Partick bin. He later criticised the council for failing to show support.
The trauma badly affected John Robertson’s health and he was off work for several months due to stress.
Although he loved his job, he eventually asked for a transfer to another department. The only positions he was offered were as a parking warden or a park ranger, though neither fitted in with his experience.
The stress of the accident and the events that followed have forced John to resign from his job. He is now considering legal action against the council.
"The last few months have been hell," said John. "I was diagnosed with insomnia and anxiety and I actually moved out for three weeks to try and get my head round what happened.”

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