How To Make Defective Work Equipment Accident And Injury Claims? – Accident At Work Due To Defective Equipment Guide

By Olivia Zahir. Last updated 24th February 2021. Welcome to our guide to making defective work equipment accident claims. As an employee, it is within reason to expect your employer to supply you with the necessary tools and equipment to complete your daily tasks. From providing appropriate training to personal protective equipment (PPE), all employers have a duty of care to keep their staff safe at all times. But what happens when there is a breach in this duty? If somebody suffers an injury, they may be able to make a defective work equipment claim.

Defective work equipment accident claims

Defective work equipment accident claims

If you have suffered an injury at work in circumstances that would have been avoidable had the correct safety measures and precautions been taken, then you could pursue a personal injury claim. In this guide, we will look at how a personal injury lawyer could help support you through the claims process on a No Win, No Fee basis and secure compensation on your behalf.

To discuss your circumstances with a friendly adviser under a free, no-obligation consultation, call us today on 0161 696 9685.

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A Guide To Defective Work Equipment Accident And Injury Claims

All employers owe a duty of care to their employees under the Provision of Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998. This legislation ensures, among other principles, that reasonable steps are taken by employers to protect staff from various workplace accidents, such as those involving dangerous equipment at work. Further, the legislation also requires employers to conduct regular risk assessments and inspections of all tools, machinery and other such workplace equipment that staff use both on and off-site. If these principles are not upheld, it could increase the chances of an employee becoming injured at work.

Given your employer must legally abide by such regulations, failure to do so could increase the risk of faulty work equipment accidents occurring. To minimise hazards, employers should seek to:

  • Conduct regular maintenance of all equipment.
  • Repair, replace or dispose of all dangerous equipment at work.
  • Train all employees adequately to use equipment safely.
  • Educate employees of the risk(s) each equipment poses on their health and well-being.

If you have suffered injuries resulting from an accident at work because your employer neglected their responsibility to uphold these principles, you could claim compensation. Please continue reading to find out more about what makes a claim for faulty work equipment injuries valid.

What Is A Defective Work Equipment Accident Or Injury?

As mentioned above, employers must uphold a variety of principles to minimise the risk of accidents occurring. If a piece of equipment does not perform to the standard it should or it simply does not work, it may be considered defective. Therefore, a defective work equipment accident is an incident which could result from the negligence of an employer to repair, replace or remove such hazards.

Various statutes impose responsibilities upon employers to uphold health and safety in relation to work equipment. One important piece of legislation is the Employer’s Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969.  This statute holds employers to strict liability for injuries that result from defective work equipment.

The term “work equipment” can encompass a wide range of tools and machinery, such as:

  • Factory machines (E.g. presses, drills, elevators)
  • Lifting equipment
  • Tools (E.g. hammers, ladders, saws)
  • Vehicles
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as safety footwear, hard hats, goggles and respirators.

it is important for an employer to maintain all equipment to regulatory standards, even if the equipment is not at the workplace itself, such as tools for jobs at customers’ home addresses. If not, you could establish grounds to make defective work equipment accident claims.

Statistics For Injuries Caused By Defective Work Equipment

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), accidents which result from defective work equipment are not uncommon in the UK. In fact, these types of accidents occur daily and could involve several victims at any one time. A health and safety report by the HSE found that:

  • 147 people were killed at work;
  • 581,000 workers sustained an injury at work, according to the Labour Force Survey;
  • RIDDOR reported 69,308 injuries to employees;
  • Work-related illnesses and injuries accounted for 28.2 million lost working days;
  • 4 million people in the UK were suffered from a work-related illness.

A defective work equipment injury could not only affect your health but you’re your ability to work in the future. As a result, you could lose out on wages.

You can read more about the HSE’s report here.

Defective Work Equipment Electric Shock Injuries

One of the most common causes of electrical shock injuries is faulty equipment. These types of accidents are not limited to the workplace, they could also occur at home. An electric shock can result in a serious injury, depending on the voltage of the equipment. In more severe cases, a faulty work equipment accident involving electricity could even result in death.

A low-intensity shock, usually of around 50 volts, could cause a range of injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Muscle spasms
  • Scarring
  • Spinal injuries
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Brain injury
  • Tissue necrosis
  • Dislocated joints
  • Bone fractures

The above list is not exhaustive, an electric shock accident could lead to a plethora of injuries, some of which may be long-term and life-threatening. Certain occupations may be at higher risk to electric shock accidents than others as they work directly with electrical equipment. For example, electricians, construction workers, hairdressers, interior decorators and maintenance workers.

Defective Work Equipment Burn Injuries

Workplace equipment can overheat and expose employees to burn injuries when it is faulty, overused or poorly maintained. It is the responsibility of your employer or indeed the manufacturer to ensure every piece of equipment is safe to use. If there is a fault with the design, wiring or other such areas, then one of these parties could be held liable for any injuries that result from neglect and poor maintenance.

In addition to this, if an employer fails to provide their staff with the correct personal protective equipment to carry out their tasks and the employee suffers as a result, defective work equipment accident claims could be made against them. A personal injury solicitor can provide you with impartial advice on such matters.

Defective Work Equipment Soft Tissue Injuries

A soft tissue injury which results from defective work equipment could cause damage to the tendons, ligaments and muscles in the body. These types of injuries typically derive from a strain or sprain which develops from overuse of the body during work. This is also known as a repetitive strain injury (RSI).

The employer has a duty to minimise the risk of sprains during work by providing staff with suitable equipment that meets minimum health and safety standards. If such equipment is not held to the appropriate standard and staff suffer a soft tissue injury as a result, then a claim for work injury compensation could be made.

Further Defective Work Equipment Accidents And Injuries

In addition to the types of accidents already listed in the sections above, there are several more accidents which could arise if defective work equipment regulations are not complied with. Some examples may include becoming trapped inside factory machinery equipment or crushed by a defective platform. Other types of injuries that could be sustained include:

  • Crushing Injuries: Injuries which involve any area of the person becoming crushed by a piece of defective work equipment.
  • Back Injuries: A piece of faulty equipment (such as a ladder) could cause a person to fall from a height, repetitive strain injuries or other forms of spinal injuries.
  • Permanent Disability: Depending on the severity of the accident, the victim could be left with a permanent disability, such as through paralysis or amputation.
  • Fatal Injuries: In the most severe cases, the result of a defective work equipment accident could be death.

It’s important to understand that while there may be similarities between cases, no two claims are the same. It doesn’t matter if your circumstances are not included in this guide. Therefore, we recommend all potential claimants to discuss their case with an adviser from our team who possess the capabilities to assess the validity of the claim.

Could I Claim As A Member Of The Public?

If you have been affected by a defective work equipment accident as a member of the public, you could also make a personal injury claim for compensation. A common example of such an incident could involve a situation whereby a person suffers a burn injury after a malfunctioning coffee machine overheats and causes steam to come into contact with the individual. In such a scenario, your claim would be against the owner of the business in question, providing you can supply sufficient evidence that the accident was not your fault.

Defective Work Equipment Injury Compensation Calculator

For defective work equipment accident claims, a settlement package may consist of two heads of claim: general damages and special damages. We’ll come onto special damages in the next section. General damages are designed to compensate you for the physical and psychological pain, suffering and loss of amenity inflicted by the injury. The table below demonstrates compensation amounts for general damages. How much you may receive depends on the severity of your injuries.

Back InjurySevere£85,470 to £151,070The most severe of back injuries will display significant damage to the spinal cord, nerve roots and other such areas which lead to a combination of serious consequences. For example, the individual will experience incomplete paralysis and significant impairment to bladder, sexual function and bowel, among other areas.
Back InjuryModerate£26,050 to £36,390Any residual disability of less severity than that of the bracket above will qualify for an amount within this bracket. This could include, for example, cases of compression/crush fractures of the lumbar vertebrae.
Back InjuryMinor£7,410 to £11,730The extent of a minor back injury will leave the individual with short term acceleration and/or exacerbation injuries. However, a recovery (or at least to a nuisance level) will be made within 2 to 5-years without surgical intervention.
Hand InjuryTotal/Effective Loss Of Both Hands£132,040 to £189,110An injury of this severity will result in such extensive damage that the hands will be little more than useless. The highest point of this bracket will apply to injuries whereby no effective prosthesis can help.
Hand InjurySerious Damage To Both Hands£52,310 to £79,360This injury will give rise to permanent cosmetic disability and, as a result, the victim will have a severe loss of function.
Hand InjuryTotal Or Effective Loss Of One Hand £90,250 to £102,890One hand will suffer a severe crush injury and thereafter will require surgical amputation or, in some cases, traumatic amputation to most of the palm and fingers.
Leg InjuryThe Most Serious Injuries Short Of Amputation£90,320 to £127,530Although these injury types do not involve amputation, they are of such severity that the courts award damages of a similar level.
Leg InjuryVery Serious£51,460 to £85,600The victim will suffer serious issues with mobility and require extensive treatment. There will be a need for crutches, or other such mobility aids, and the individual could be left with serious deformity too.
Leg InjurySerious£36,790 to £51,460It is likely a serious compound fracture of this nature will result in instability and treatment will prolong over a lengthy period. During this period, it won’t be possible to bear weight nor avoid extensive scarring.

While you can use an online personal injury claims calculator to acquire a general estimate of your potential damages, you could receive a figure more relevant to your unique circumstances by speaking with an adviser from our expert team.

Special Damages Which A Settlement May Include

Special damages are intended to compensate you for any financial losses or expenses that may have occurred as a result of the injury. For example, if you were put out-of-pocket by medical costs, travel expenses or even lost out on earnings, you could claim these back as expenses.

How To Claim For An Accident Caused By Defective Work Equipment

If you suffered an avoidable injury because of defective work equipment, you should look to take some important steps which could increase your chances of receiving compensation. These include:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Regardless of how minor your injuries may seem, it is important to receive treatment. This will also prove useful evidence down the line.
  • Gather Evidence: When we talk about “evidence”, we are referring to anything that may serve as proof of the incident and hold the party responsible. For example, this could include CCTV footage, accident logbooks, photographs of the accident scene and the cause. You could gather video evidence of the scene too.
  • Witness Details: While you cannot take statements from the witnesses yourself, you can take their contact details for a solicitor to use at a later date.
  • Report The Accident: A formal report of the accident to your employer is important as a record will be held in an official accident book.
  • Speak With A Legal Adviser: An important step you can take is discussing your circumstances with a legal expert. You could speak to a Legal Helpline adviser who will assess your case for free under a no-obligation consultation.

Why Choose Legal Helpline For Your Claim?

Our panel of expert solicitors has thirty years’ experience in helping victims of third-party negligence secure settlement amounts through personal injury claims, including accidents at work. Your legal adviser will help you gather as much supporting evidence as possible to strengthen your claim and will provide you with regular updates about your claim via email, telephone and post. You can rest assured in the knowledge that they will strive to do all they can to recover the most compensation possible for you. 

All the advice on defective work equipment accident claims that you receive will be impartial with your best interests in mind. Before you begin your claim, however, an expert from our team will assess the validity of your claim under a free, no-obligation consultation. They could even begin working on your claim that day.

No Win, No Fee Claims For Injuries Caused By Defective Work Equipment

If you suffered an injury at work following faulty work equipment, a personal injury solicitor could help you pursue a defective work equipment claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. Under this agreement,  if your personal injury solicitor is unable to secure compensation for your injury at work, you will not be held accountable for their fees. In addition to this, your solicitor will not expect any fees upfront or during the claim, significantly reducing the financial risks associated with beginning a claim for a personal injury at work.

If your claim is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution toward their costs. This contribution is known as a success fee and makes up a percentage of your compensation. Success fees are legally capped and will be agreed with you before the claim begins.

Defective work equipment accident claims FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about making defective work equipment accident claims.

Can I make a claim for accident at work?

If your employer owed you a duty of care that they failed to uphold, you could be entitled to claim if you were injured as a result. For a consultation about your case, please call Legal Helpline today.

How long after an accident can you claim damages?

Personal injury claims have 3-year time limits within which you must claim. Otherwise, you risk not being eligible for compensation anymore.

Start A Defective Work Equipment Claim

It couldn’t be easier to begin your claim today. Use one of the contact methods below to discuss your unique circumstances with a specialist from our team. We can assess the validity of your claim under a free, no-obligation consultation.

Related Information on Defective Work Equipment Claims

Risk At Work – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
What risks of concern to employers and how the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can help prevent such risks.

Lifting Operations And Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
What regulations place duties on people and companies who operate lifting equipment.

The Personal Protective Equipment At Work Regulations 1992
UK legislation regarding regulations for personal protective equipment (PPE) at work

Provision And Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
Information on PUWER regulations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Thank you for reading our guide to making defective work equipment accident claims.

Guide by HS

Edited by REG