Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Compensation Claims

By Danielle Graves. Last updated 13th October 2023. Welcome to our guide to making inadequate protective equipment injury claims. If you have suffered injuries in an accident at work because of inadequate personal protective equipment, it could lead to you experiencing not only great pain but also financial harm. You may be wondering whether you could be compensated for what you’ve had to endure.

This guide aims to offer useful information to those who have found themselves injured because of inadequate protective equipment. In the sections below, you can find details of who should supply PPE and when, examples of situations that could lead to PPE injury claims, and details of how to go about claiming compensation for such an accident. If you would like to ask us anything about the information contained in this guide, you can reach us on 0161 696 9685.

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How to make a claim for inadequate PPE

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What Is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is equipment that is meant to reduce the risks of harm to you while you perform certain tasks.

The PPE you are provided with by your employer (or that you provide for yourself if you are self-employed) should be:

  • Appropriate for the risks and conditions it is to be used in
  • Suitably ergonomic where required
  • Appropriate for the person using it in terms of their state of health
  • Fit properly – it should be adjusted if not
  • Effective in terms of adequately controlling the risk or preventing the risk
  • Compliant with other legal requirements such as EU Directives, appropriate to its manufacture and use

The PPE equipment should also be:

  • Assessed before use to ensure that it is fit for purpose
  • Stored and maintained correctly

In addition to this, those using the PPE should be shown how to use it properly and safely.

How Is Personal Protective Equipment Used And What Are The 4 Types Of PPE?

If you’re wondering what type of PPE may be appropriate for a task, it may be worth reading what types of PPE there are and how they could be used to reduce risks. Generally, most PPE fits into one or more of the below categories:

  • Eye Protection – This could protect from hazards such as metal or chemical splashes, dust, vapour, gases and radiation.
  • Head protection – To protect from risk of banging the head, falling items, and entanglement of hair, for example.
  • Breathing protection – To protect from oxygen-deficient environments, inhalation of gases, vapour or dust.
  • Body protection – To protect from a variety of hazards such as noise, burns, puncture injuries, slips, impacts, chemical exposure and more. The body protection could be split down into areas such as; hands and arms, torso, feet and legs, or ears, depending on the part of the body that faces the hazards.

Examples Of Personal Protective Equipment

Some examples of PPE could include:

  • Anti-slip boots
  • Safety goggles
  • Steel toe-capped boots
  • Hardhats
  • Gloves
  • Ear defenders

However, the type of PPE provided should be specific to the hazards and risks of the work that you are doing and this could include other pieces of equipment than those items mentioned above.

If you suffer an inadequate personal protective equipment injury and your employer should have provided you with equipment that was suitable for the task at hand, then you could be eligible for compensation. For more information on making inadequate protective equipment injury claims, please continue reading.

Can I Make An Inadequate PPE Claim?

If you suffered an injury due to inadequate equipment at work, you may wonder if you could make a workplace accident claim. While we are at work, our employer owes us a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). This means that your employer needs to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.

As part of this duty, employers should carry out risk assessments as set by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. If a risk is identified, then the employer should take steps to reduce that risk if it cannot be eliminated entirely. Should an assessment identify the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to help reduce the risk, the employer needs to ensure that it is provided to their employees as per the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.

Should your employer fail to comply with health and safety legislation that applies to them, and you are injured, you might be able to make a PPE claim. However, you will need to satisfy the personal injury claims eligibility requirements. This means that you must prove:

  •       Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  •       They breached this duty.
  •       You suffered an injury because of this breach.

In addition to meeting the above criteria, you must also initiate proceedings before the time limit expires. For a personal injury claim, the Limitation Act 1980 sets this as typically three years. However, there are some exceptions.

To talk about these exceptions or anything else about PPE claims, get in touch with an advisor.

How Can I Prove A PPE Claim?

As with all personal injury claims, PPE claims must be supported with sufficient evidence. This needs to show liability and the injuries themselves.

Here are a few examples of evidence that could be useful when making a PPE claim:

  • A copy of your medical records with details about the nature of the injury and the treatment you needed.
  • If it was defective, the PPE. For example, if you suffered an eye injury due to damaged safety goggles, you could submit these.
  • A copy of the accident log book with details of the incident that caused your injury. It is a legal requirement for workplaces with ten or more staff members to have an accident book.
  • The contact details of any witnesses to the incident so they can give a statement later on.
  • Photographs of the inadequate equipment at work, the accident scene, or your injuries (if these are visible).

If you need any help obtaining evidence to support your accident at work claim, please contact one of the advisors from our team.

Compensation Payouts In PPE Claims

When personal injury claim settlements are valued, the calculations are usually based on independent medical evidence. This is why personal injury claimants have to visit an independent medical expert as part of their claim. During your appointment with an independent medic, you could expect them to ask you about your accident and your injury, and they may examine you and ask for further tests if this would be appropriate. They would then complete a written report detailing your injuries, their nature and severity and prognosis. This would then be used to calculate your settlement.

If you are looking for a personal injury claims calculator to find out how much your inadequate PPE equipment claim could be worth, you will notice that on this page we have laid out the information you may be looking for in a different way. Instead of a calculator, we’ve taken data from the Judicial College Guidelines for injuries that could be relevant to an inadequate protective equipment accident. This is a legal publication which details compensation payouts made by the courts for different injuries. If you have received a different type of injury than those listed in the table below, then we could discuss the guideline payout amounts for your injury with you over the phone.

InjuryGuideline Payout BracketNotes
Serious hand injuries£29,000 to £61,910The hand would only likely retain around 50% of its original use. This could include amputation of several fingers.
Loss of sight in one eye£49,270 to £54,830Complete, with some sympathetic opthalmia.
Head injury (minor)£2,210 to £12,770Cases would be calculated based on how severe the injury was, whether headaches are a consequence, how long the symptoms last, and more.
Moderate leg injuries£27,760 to £39,200Fractures (multiple/complex) or crush injuries could be included here. The employment impact, any residual symptoms, loss of function or degenerative changes would be assessed to calculate claims in this bracket.
Severe finger fracturesUp to £36,740Leading to potential amputation and grip deformity, reduced function and sensation disturbances.
Great toe amputationIn the region of £31,310N/A
Significant scarring (face)£9,110 to £30,090Worst effects would have been reduced via plastic surgery. Psychological reaction would not be severe.
Scarring (non facial)£7,830 to £22,730A number of noticeable scars or one single scar that is disfiguring to the arms, hands, legs, back or chest
Severe toe injuries£13,740 to £21,070Crush injuries that are severe enough to warrant the amputation of one or two of the toes, not including the great toe.
Serious Shoulder Injuries£12,770 to £19,200Injuries to the brachial plexus and shoulder dislocation. Sensory symptoms could present in the hand and forearm, and grip may be weakened. Soft tissue injuries with permanent intrusive symptoms could fall into this bracket.

Special Damages In PPE Claims

When making inadequate protective equipment injury claims, more than just suffering and pain can be accounted for. You could also ask for compensation for any financial losses or expenses incurred that the inadequate protective equipment accident has caused you. These costs/losses could include:

  • Care costs – If you have needed home care because of your injury, then care costs could form part of your claim
  • Wage losses – If you needed to take time off work to recover from your injuries, or you are likely to to be off work in the future, these costs could also be covered as part of your claim
  • Medical expenses – If you have had to pay for private physiotherapy, counselling, prescription costs or any other medical costs directly because of your inadequate protective equipment injury, these could also be included as special damages
  • Travel costs – Travel expenses for trips to medical facilities or to meet your solicitor could also be covered if they have arisen directly because of your accident

If you have sustained other costs or losses because of your injury, then please do not hesitate to check with us whether these could form part of your PPE injury claim.

How Legal Helpline Could Help You Make A PPE Claim

If you are considering making a claim for an inadequate protective equipment injury, we could help. Not only could we offer a free personal injury claim eligibility check, but we could also give you guidance on how to begin a claim too. We could also help find you a personal injury solicitor that could help you launch your claim.

All you would need to do is get in touch with us and we will take some details of your case. We may ask you a few questions about your injury and the inadequate protective equipment you were using and then we’ll be able to give you an idea of whether you could be eligible to claim. We will also answer any questions you might have and help you, if you’d like us to, connect you with an appropriate personal injury lawyer who could then begin your claim for you.

When you make a claim for compensation, it might help to have a personal injury solicitor on your side. Not only could a solicitor help build a strong case for your inadequate protective equipment injury claim, but they could also advise you along the way. If you were to receive a settlement offer, for example, and were unsure as to whether you should go ahead and accept it, or whether you could fight for more compensation, a lawyer could advise you on this.

We have helped many claimants who have had an accident at work begin claims for compensation for their injuries, and we pride ourselves on being able to assist with both simple and complex claims. Why not get in touch with the team today?

Make A No Win No Fee PPE Claim

You may be wondering whether you would have to pay for such legal assistance upfront. With No Win No Fee claims, you wouldn’t. In fact, you would not be required to pay your solicitor’s fees until your compensation was paid. At the beginning of your claim, before your lawyer starts working with you, you would be required to sign a document known as a No Win No Fee Agreement, or Conditional Fee Agreement. This will layout the conditions under which you would be required to pay your solicitor. 

With No Win No Fee Agreements, your solicitor would only ask for you to pay a small contribution toward their fees if your case was successful. This is known as a success fee and would be deducted from the compensation you are awarded at the end of your claim. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped. If your claim is unsuccessful, you would not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your case.

You can get in touch with us in a variety of ways. If you prefer to fill out the contact form and allow us to contact you, then you can find it here.

If, however, you’d like to call us, the number you need is 0161 696 9685. Alternatively, there is a live chat feature on our site that will allow you to quickly connect with us.

Learn More About PPE Claims

HSE – PPE Provision – Here you can find guidance from HSE on one of the most common questions surrounding protective equipment – should your employer provide it?

A Guide To PPE At Work – You can read more from the HSE about PPE at work here.

HSE PPE Toolbox – Here, you can see some common questions and answers about PPE from the HSE. There are also some useful links to further information.

Thanks for reading our guide to making inadequate protective equipment injury claims.