health and safety at work

Nurse infected by TB takes employer to court

A nurse in Kristianstad who contracted tuberculosis has brought her case to court. She believes she was infected by a patient and that the practice of staff at the hospital re-using face masks is to blame.

A district court will now decide whether the head of the hospital broke the law on health and safety in the work place when he did not instruct the staff that they should throw away the face mask immediately after use. The disposable face masks at the hospital were instead used by staff for a full day.

The defence claims that the nurse could have been infected in a way that has nothing to do with the routines at the hospital. And anyway, it claims the case was handed in after the period for prosecution had expired - which is 2 years when it comes to these kinds of crimes.

What the court decides on this depends on when the 2 year period starts, Swedish Radio News reports. Do the 2 years count from the time the nurse got infected or from the time symptoms of the disease appeared? That is now a matter for Kristianstad District Court to decide.