All employers have a duty of care to try and reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. If a potential hazard can’t be removed, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be used to try to protect staff while carrying out their roles. If you’ve been injured at work because of a lack of PPE (or PPE that wasn’t fit for purpose), you may be entitled to compensation. This article on PPE injury claims will explain your employer’s responsibilities in more detail and look at the types of injuries you could be compensated for.
Our advisors offer free legal advice on Personal Protective Equipment injury claims as part of our no-obligation consultation. During your call, they’ll answer any questions you might have and explain your options. If your claim appears strong enough, we’ll ask one of our personal injury lawyers to speak with you. They’ll provide a No Win, No Fee service if they agree to represent you.
Our team can be reached on 0800 652 1345 if you’re ready to discuss your claim today. If not, please read on to find out more about the PPE accident claims process.
Employer responsibility for personal protective equipment (PPE)
The duty an employer has towards their staff’s welfare established by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is extended by the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.
Whilst employers must carry out regular risk assessments and remove any dangers where possible, PPE can be provided where risks can’t be controlled in other ways. However, all PPE must be:
- Suitable for the task and of adequate quality to protect the employee.
- Be provided by the employer for free.
- Stored and maintained properly.
- Properly checked before use to ensure it is suitable for the task.
- Provided with instructions (and staff must be trained on its use).
- The correct size for the employee.
- Compatible with any other safety implements provided.
Examples of PPE in the workplace
Examples of PPE that might be provided to improve health and safety in the workplace include:
- Eye protection.
- Protective gloves.
- Safety helmets
- Safety harnesses.
- Protective boots (or other footwear).
- High visibility clothing.
While an employer has a legal duty to provide suitable PPE, it is worth remembering that the employee also has a duty to wear it when instructed and when it is needed.
Can I claim compensation against my employer for inadequate PPE?
Our solicitors will always be open and honest about your chances of being compensated. If your PPE claim is accepted, it means that your solicitor believes that your case is strong enough to be won. As such, before agreeing to work for you, they’ll assess whether:
- Your employer has breached their duty of care relating to PPE in the workplace; and
- An accident has happened as a result; and
- You were hurt because of that accident.
The last statement is important in any personal injury claim. You cannot claim compensation simply because your employer failed to provide PPE (even if another action was taken against them). A PPE injury claim’s only possible if your employer’s negligence has caused you to suffer some form of injury or illness.
We believe that you have a much stronger chance of winning an accident at work claim if you’re represented by a specialist solicitor. We also believe having legal representation could increase the amount of compensation awarded if the claim is successful. So, please get in touch today to see if a solicitor on our panel could help you.
Will suing my employer cause problems?
If you’ve been injured because your employer failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, you shouldn’t worry about claiming compensation. Firstly, your claim won’t affect the running of the business as it will be paid by the company’s liability insurance policy (if it is successful). Secondly, by law, you can’t be disciplined, demoted, denied promotion or fired for making an honest claim.
If your claim is handled by one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll deal with all communication on your behalf so you won’t need to discuss anything with your employer directly.
Common injuries caused by a lack of PPE
As explained above, it may be possible to seek damages for almost any type of injury caused by inadequate, ineffective or missing PPE. Some examples include:
- Eye injuries caused by projectiles, chemicals, dust, or foreign bodies due to a lack of eye protection.
- Head injury and neck injuries caused by falling objects where a hard hat wasn’t provided.
- NIHL (noise-induced hearing loss claim) caused by exposure to high levels of noise over a prolonged period or exposure to bangs or explosions where ear defenders weren’t provided.
- Skin conditions caused by dust or irritants because of a lack of protective gloves.
- Asbestosis (and other industrial diseases) caused by a lack of protective breathing apparatus.
- Falls from height caused by a lack of a safety harness.
- Vibration white finger caused by using vibrating equipment without the appropriate PPE.
These are just some examples of when a PPE injury claim may be possible. Even if there’s not an example that matches your own scenario, please get in touch and we’ll explain your options for free.
Fatal personal protective equipment injury claims
While some injuries caused by inadequate PPE will cause superficial injuries others can be life-changing or even fatal. We understand that if you’ve lost a loved one following an accident at work, no amount of compensation is going to help you get over your loss.
However, youcould be entitled to compensation to help you deal with the financial impact of your loss so that you can concentrate on more important matters. If you were financially dependent on the deceased or have incurred costs such as funeral expenses, please feel free to talk to us about how we could help you make a fatal injury claim.
How much compensation for a PPE injury claim?
When beginning a PPE compensation claim, you need to sit down and think about how you’ve been affected by your injuries. Damages could be claimed to cover your pain and suffering (general damages) and any costs associated with them (special damages).
Our solicitors specialise in personal injury claims and, if your claim is taken on, you could request compensation for:
- Any immediate or ongoing physical pain.
- Loss of amenity i.e. where you can’t participate in your normal pastimes.
- Any distress, anxiety or other forms of mental harm linked to your injuries.
- Loss of your income.
- The cost of a carer (professional or a family member).
- Travel expenditures because of your injury.
- The cost of replacing damaged or destroyed personal property during the accident.
- Physiotherapy and other private medical treatment.
- Future income loss if your ability to work is affected in the long term.
- Modifications to a vehicle or your home that make it easier to deal with an ongoing disability.
It is important to include everything in a PPE injury claim as you can’t request additional damages after your claim has been settled. This is why your solicitor will spend a fair bit of time getting to know exactly how you’ve suffered before filing your claim.
Medical assessments for PPE injury claims
To ascertain the extent of the injuries you’ve sustained, the PPE injury claims process requires you to submit a report from an independent medical assessment. This involves a meeting with a medical specialist (usually at a local venue) who will examine your injuries. They’ll also talk with you about the impact your injuries have had on you both physically and mentally.
Your prognosis will be explained in the report and it will be used by your solicitor to determine how much compensation you might be entitled to.
Providing proof for a PPE injury claim
As mentioned earlier, it is more than likely that your PPE injury claim will be handled by your employer’s insurance provider. As a result, you’ll need to supply ample proof to show how you were injured and why your employer was liable for your injuries. Some examples of the kind of proof that could help include:
- Photographic evidence. Photographs of the PPE you were given could help to prove it was inadequate. Where possible try to capture the brand and model numbers in your pictures. Also, if possible, try to take pictures of the accident scene.
- Medical records. You should seek professional advice about your injuries at a hospital or GP surgery to ensure they are treated correctly. Later on, your x-rays and medical notes could be requested to help prove your diagnosis.
- Accident report forms. Legally, companies must log accidents in an accident book (or similar system). A copy of your report could prove when and when you were injured.
- Witness statements. If anybody else saw you get injured or can confirm information about a lack of personal protective equipment, your solicitor may contact them for a statement.
- CCTV footage. You are legally allowed to request footage from your employer’s security cameras if they use them to help prove how your accident happened.
- Financial evidence. To claim back any costs or expenses caused by your injuries, you should provide copies of any receipts, bank statements and other financial records.
If you call for a free review of your claim, your advisor will consider any proof you’ve managed to secure so far.
PPE injury claim time limits
If you are claiming for injuries caused by poor PPE, you’ll need to be aware of the 3-year time limit. This will start from:
- The date of your accident; or
- The date your injuries were diagnosed (if later); or
- The date a loved one died as a result of their injuries.
We would always suggest that you start your claim as soon as possible to allow your solicitor plenty of time to carry out tasks such as gathering proof.
Some claims can be settled in around 6 to 9 months but more complex cases can take over a year. However, if you need money to cover your loss of income, medical costs or care costs, it is sometimes possible to request interim payments to help out before the claim is finalised.
No Win, No Fee claims
Many people worry about the expense of using a solicitor to represent them in a personal injury claim. However, you needn’t be too concerned if you start your claim with us as our solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service for all PPE injury claims.
As a result, you won’t be asked to pay any legal fees in advance which means your solicitor can act on your behalf right away. Their main goals will be to:
- Find out how you were injured and how you’ve suffered by discussing everything with you.
- Find the proof required and request medical reports to support your claim.
- File the claim with the defendant.
- Handle all communication with your employer or their representatives to stop you from having to deal with the claim directly.
- Deal with any objections or queries raised.
- Review any settlement offers with you to ensure that they are fair.
In all cases, your solicitor will try to secure the highest amount of compensation possible.
The only time you’ll pay for any of their work is if you’re compensated. When that happens, a success fee (a set percentage) of your settlement will be deducted to cover your solicitor’s work.
Start a personal protective equipment injury claim today
If you would now like to begin a PPE compensation claim please call 0800 652 1345 today. An advisor will answer any of your questions and review your claim for free.
Should your claim be accepted by one of our personal injury solicitors, they’ll manage everything on a No Win, No Fee basis. In most cases, that will make the PPE injury claims process easier and a lot less stressful.
If you’ve got any remaining questions about personal protective equipment injury claims, please call or use our free live chat service to connect with us.