The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) said nurses who are injured from contaminated syringes are at a great risk of contracting hepatitis B or C or HIV / AIDS.

According to the ANF, more than 18,000 nurses are pricked by syringes and sharps every year. The organisation also believes only half of needlestick injuries are reported and expects that there could be as many as 30,000 incidents each year.

ANF Federal Secretary Ged Kearney called on federal and state governments to introduce consistent rules to prevent needlestick injuries in Australia and fund the introduction of needleless access devices.

Interested groups have come together to call for the mandatory use of safety engineered devices, education of healthcare workers and mandatory reporting of injuries.

The Coalition partners include the Australian Infection Control Association, the Australian Nursing Federation, the Medical Technology Association of Australia, the Royal College of Nursing (Australia) and the Royal College of Pathologists Australasia.