At uvex, we are all striving towards our common goal of protecting people, whether in their free time or at work. Real people are behind every pair of safety spectacles, every pair of safety footwear and every pair of earplugs. These are people who have worked with commitment and passion day in, day out, to make uvex what it is today – and when they come across stories like Scot Grant’s, helping is not a question of “if” but “how”!
Scot Grant is a 35-year-old ambulance technician, working both in the private medical sector and now within the NHS. He is married with four children. Five years ago, Scot and the crew of his private ambulance had been transferring a critically-ill patient between hospitals and had loaded the patient onto the ambulance. Scot set off driving under emergency conditions with the vehicle’s blue lights flashing. During the journey, because the sun was low in the sky, Scot put his hand up to pull down the sun visor. As he did so, he felt a sharp prick in the side of one of his fingers, which began to bleed. “To start with I was not sure what had happened,” explains Scot, “but because we had an ill patient in the back, I sucked my finger and carried on driving for another 30 miles.” On arrival at the hospital, the patient was transferred and then Scot returned to the ambulance with his crew mate. “We were both disgusted to find that someone who had used the private ambulance before us had pushed a used intra-muscular injection needle into the sun visor rather than dispose of it properly in a sharps bin.”
At the same hospital Scot immediately had his wound thoroughly cleaned and received blood tests to see if he had picked anything up from the needle – in case it had it been used on a HIV, hepatitis or other infectious patient. Scot’s initial anger was quickly followed by fear: “Mentally, it was like I wasn’t leading my own life. I was scared, worried for the future and the stress of not knowing ether way took its toll on family life.” His wife and his four kids would describe him as being like Jekyll and Hyde. Rendered speechless, Scot would isolate himself in his workshop fighting with tears. He also developed severe trust issues towards his colleagues. “Because of someone’s stupidity, I was living a time of hell.”
Light at the end of the tunnel
After what must have felt like an endless six months – with regular blood tests and having to take antibiotics with extremely unpleasant side effects – Scot was finally cleared … lifting the heavy burden on his shoulders. He has since changed employer moving from the private medical sector to the NHS and is back to loving his job.
These days the NHS crew’s vehicles are made ready and prepared for needlestick injuries , which Scot hopes should limit the risk of anything like this ever occurring again. However, he still makes a thorough visual check of each ambulance before leaving the station. But dangers lie elsewhere, too. In Scot’s volunteer work with the Search Dogs Sussex, they primarily work in woodland where they sometimes come across evidence of drug use – and the immediate risk of another needlestick injury.
Happy to help
Early in 2018, Scot approached uvex in the UK to see if they would be willing to support the search team with some PPE to keep them safe when out and about. “Up until this point, each individual member funded their own equipment, travel and expenses.” Since then, uvex has donated to the team some uvex quatro pro safety boots and more recently the uvex 2 safety shoes. Each member now also wears safety glasses including the uvex i-works, pheos, pheos CX2, sportstyle and super OTG.
For Scot personally, the most important pieces of equipment are his new HexArmor PointGuard® Ultra 4041 gloves that uvex has given to him to try out: “I think they are great,” he enthuses. “They are comfortable and provide me with an increased feeling of being safe whilst working and searching.” He always keeps a pair in the top of his work bag when out in an ambulance and in the pocket of his vest when on a search and rescue mission. After such a terrible ordeal, HexArmor has provided Scot with peace of mind at last.
You can find out more about our partnership with HexArmor on our UK website.