How To Claim For An Accident At Work Caused By Inadequate Protective Equipment
By Olivia Houllier. Last updated 2nd March 2021. 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.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide To Inadequate Protective Equipment Injury Claims
- What Are Inadequate Protective Equipment Accidents?
- Statistics Related To Inadequate Protective Equipment Accidents
- Inadequate Protective Equipment Causing Eye Injuries
- Inadequate Protective Equipment Causing Burn Injuries
- Inadequate Protective Equipment Causing Soft Tissue Injuries
- Inadequate Protective Equipment Causing Slips, Trips And Falls
- Further Examples Of Inadequate Protective Equipment Accidents
- Inadequate Protective Equipment Injury Claims Calculator
- Special Damages Which Your Settlement May Include
- How Legal Helpline Could Help You
- No Win No Fee Inadequate Protective Equipment Injury Claims
- Begin An Inadequate PPE Claim
- Claims Guides And HSE Resources
According to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, each and every employer should provide suitable protective equipment to those workers that face risks in the workplace that have not been adequately controlled by other (equally effective or more effective) means.
If your employer has not provided suitable personal protective equipment to you, and you suffer an inadequate personal protective equipment injury at work, your employer could be held liable for your injury and you could be eligible to claim compensation, not just for the suffering and pain you have experienced, but also for financial costs and losses that have arisen directly because of your injury.
Within this guide is useful information about the types of protective equipment that your employer could provide to keep you safe while you are doing your job. Also included are details of what situations could lead to you being able to make a PPE injury claim, information on how to assess the suitability of your PPE, and some guidance on what amount of compensation you could look to receive for certain injuries.
Grounds to make inadequate protective equipment injury claims could be established in cases of accidents that could have been avoided or would have had less chance of injury if the PPE had been adequate for the task at hand.
Your employer has a legal obligation to protect your health and safety while you are at work, and as part of this, they should provide adequate PPE to you where there are risks that have not been adequately reduced/minimised by other methods.
The equipment that should be provided to you should conform with the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 and The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. PDF advice on these regulations can be found on the HSE website.
What Is Meant By Personal Protective Equipment?
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.
What Are Some Examples Of Personal Protective Equipment?
Some examples of PPE could include:
- Anti-slip boots
- Safety goggles
- Steel toe-capped boots
- 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.
According to a report from the HSE relating to PPE-related accidents, over the course of 7 years, between 1996/97 and 2002/03, there were 24,182 such accidents recorded. From this dataset, it was found that hand, foot, and arm protection accidents were the most common, followed by face and eye protection.
The two most common reasons behind the reported accidents were a failure to consider the use of PPE, and PPE being provided and not used.
If you have suffered an inadequate personal protective equipment accident at work and your employer was negligent in providing adequate PPE, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Whether your employer has failed to provide any PPE or the PPE they have provided is not adequate for the task involved, you could claim compensation if you sustain an injury. Ill-fitting safety goggles could, for example, allow contaminants to enter the eye, which could lead to an injury. Another example could be if your employer did not consider providing eye protection at all when there could have been a risk of an eye injury.
When working with chemicals or items at high temperatures, the risk of burning could be easily foreseen. Whether protecting against chemical burns or burns from hot foods, open flames or high temperatures, there are plenty of items of PPE that could be utilised to reduce and minimise the risks of burns. If your employer has failed to provide PPE to reduce such risks, or they have provided inadequate PPE, and you suffer an injury, you could look into claiming compensation for an inadequate protective equipment accident.
Soft tissue injuries could include ligament, tendon and muscle damage. These types of injuries could occur throughout the body for a variety of reasons, including strain being put upon parts of the body due to a task you have to perform at work. This could be heavy lifting work, or repetitive work, for example.
If there are foreseeable risks of soft tissue injuries that could be reduced by PPE use, then PPE should be utilised. If your employer has failed to provide you with any PPE or PPE that is not suitable for the hazard and you get injured, you could consider making an inadequate PPE injury claim.
As common causes of accidents at work, slips trips and falls could lead to injuries ranging in severity from minor scrapes and bruising to, in extreme cases, fatalities. There are several ways in which an employer can protect you from such incidents, such as by ensuring that the workplace is free of trip hazards, providing adequate flooring, and pointing out potential hazards with signage.
However, where appropriate, an employer should provide PPE to ensure that assessed risks are minimised. This means that for work at height, for example, if a ladder was required, the right kind of ladder should be selected and it should be properly maintained. In addition to this, if it is deemed appropriate, there could be safety clothing provided such as anti-slip boots, and other protective wear. Again, if this is provided, it should be fit for purpose and well-fitting.
If PPE was not provided at all or was not fit for use and caused an accident, you could be eligible to claim against your employer for your inadequate protective equipment injury. For more information on inadequate protective equipment injury claims, continue this guide.
There are many other types of accidents that occur if adequate PPE is not provided or used as it should be.
The use of personal protective equipment in hospitals, for example, is particularly important to ensure that staff are protected when caring for patients from a variety of different risks, such as the transfer of bodily fluids. If, for example, the correct masks, goggles or gloves were not provided or they were inadequate, healthcare staff could be infected with a disease.
Other examples of accidents that could occur because of inadequate protective equipment could include:
- Foot injuries due to non-protective footwear being provided
- Head injuries due to inadequate headwear being provided
- Breathing illnesses due to contaminants being inhaled because a badly fitting mask was provided
- No overalls being provided leading to cuts to the body from tools
These are just a few examples. If you have suffered an injury due to inadequate protective equipment and feel your employer could be to blame, simply call Legal Helpline.
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.
Injury Guideline Payout Bracket Notes
Head injury (minor) £2,070 to £11,980 Cases would be calculated based on how severe the injury was, whether headaches are a consequence, how long the symptoms last, and more.
Serious Shoulder Injuries £11,980 to £18,020 Injuries 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.
Serious hand injuries £27,220 to £58,100 The hand would only likely retain around 50% of its original use. This could include amputation of several fingers.
Severe finger fractures Up to £34,480 Leading to potential amputation and grip deformity, reduced function and sensation disturbances.
Moderate leg injuries £26,050 to £36,790 Fractures (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 toe injuries £12,900 to £29,770 Crush injuries that are severe enough to warrant the amputation of one or two of the toes, not including the great toe.
Great toe amputation £29,380 N/A
Loss of sight in one eye £46,240 to £51,460 Complete, with some sympathetic opthalmia.
Significant scarring (face) £8,550 to £28,240 Worst effects would have been reduced via plastic surgery. Psychological reaction would not be severe.
Scarring (non facial) £7,350 to £21,330 A number of noticeable scars or one single scar that is disfiguring to the arms, hands, legs, back or chest
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.
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?
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.
Inadequate Protective Equipment Injury Claims FAQs
Here are some questions commonly asked by prospective claimants.
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.
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.
Scaffolding Accident Claims – Here, you can read about how scaffolding accidents at work could lead to personal injury claims.
General Accident At Work Guidance – Our general guide covers more information about claiming against an employer.
Manual Handling Injuries – Here, you can read our guide on claiming for manual handling accidents.
Thanks for reading our guide to making inadequate protective equipment injury claims.
Guide by JS
Edited by REG