Dangerous working conditions often require workers to use some form of safety equipment. Equipment which protects against accident in the workplace risks is often referred to as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE can include all kinds of safety gear, each protecting against different kinds of hazards. Examples include:
- Masks and respirators
- Ear defenders
- Safety goggles
- Overalls or protective suits
- Protective footwear, such as steel toe-cap boots
- Hard hats or helmets
- Safety harnesses for working at height
If you work with PPE, you are entrusting your health and safety to that equipment. If that PPE is unsuitable, or in poor condition, you may no longer receive the safety benefits the equipment is intended to provide. The law surrounding PPE is mostly contained in the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 found here.
Depending on the hazards you are facing, inadequate PPE can easily lead to injuries or the development of industrial diseases. These include:
- Broken bones, soft-tissue injuries, lacerations
- Industrial deafness
- Eye damage or loss of sight
- Occupational asthma or other lung conditions
PPE which is inadequate can cover many situations, including PPE which is:
- In poor condition and no longer provides protection.
- Unsuitable protection from the hazard you are facing. For example, a breathing mask which can only filter large particles, such as dust, is no protection from finer particles, such as harmful chemicals.
- Ill-fitting or incompatible with other PPE which you must wear.
It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure the PPE you have been given is fit for purpose. Your employer must also provide training for using the PPE correctly. Failing to do so could constitute negligence and may give rise to an accident at work compensation claim.
If you have suffered an injury at work or developed an industrial disease as a result of inadequate PPE, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer.
Truth Legal’s specialist personal injury and accident at work solicitors can help you to recover this compensation. We will work tirelessly to build your case and achieve the positive outcome you deserve. Our firm prides itself on delivering an ethical, honest, and efficient service, whilst having an in-depth knowledge of PPE claims.
For more information on personal injury claims arising from inadequate PPE, or for advice on your specific circumstances, contact us today. We offer free initial consultations, with no obligation to proceed further.
Let us help you to claim the compensation you deserve.
When making any personal injury or accident at work claim, it is crucial you are being advised and represented by specialist solicitors. Truth Legal’s friendly team of expert solicitors have extensive experience of successfully recovering compensation.
We are based in Harrogate with presences in York, Manchester, and London. We would like to sit down with you for a free, no-obligation consultation and to discuss any ways in which we can help you. Alternatively, we can speak with you over the telephone. Contact us now to begin your claim.
If you have already started a claim with another firm, always remember that you are entitled to transfer your claim if you wish. If you are not getting the service you deserve – perhaps because unqualified paralegals are running your case, or your case-handler is overloaded – you should consider switching or changing solicitors to Truth Legal.
A ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement is a useful way to avoid the risk of paying fees if your claim is unsuccessful. The agreement means that, in the vast majority of situations, you will not have to pay our legal costs if we cannot recover compensation for you.
If we are successful, often a small percentage of your award will go towards our fees, with most of our costs being paid by the other party’s insurance company. This is how ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreements usually operate.
When an accident was not your fault, Truth Legal will normally be able to offer you a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement.
Funding is always something we will discuss with you in full before your claim begins. However, if you have any queries about our fees, please get in touch so that we may explain matters further.
Claiming compensation can help get your life back to normal as far as possible following an accident.
The purpose of compensation is to return you, through financial means, to your pre-accident situation. Whilst it is unfortunately true that some harm cannot be ‘fixed’ with any amount of money, compensation can mitigate the negative effects from the accident and help you to rebuild your life. In the aftermath of your accident, you may have to adjust to a new way of living. This can be stressful enough without financial worries placed on top – compensation can help to ease these added pressures.
But if you are claiming for an injury because of inadequate or defective safety equipment, there are other issues at stake. Besides countering the negative effects you have suffered, your claim represents making a stand for what’s right. You are claiming recompense to which you are entitled, and your claim can act as a strong deterrent against similar conduct or negligence in the future. It can prevent the same thing from happening to others.
To be successful in your personal injury claim, you must prove several legal elements:
- Your employer failed in their duty of care towards you;
- Their failure caused your injury; and
- The injuries and losses you are claiming for are reasonable.
Employers have general legal duties which require them to keep their workers as safe as possible. This requires them to do all they reasonably can to ensure health and safety. But in relation to PPE there are more specific duties with which employers must comply. The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 direct employers to:
- Conduct a full risk assessment as to the hazards in the workplace and the PPE required to protect against them.
- Make sure PPE is suitable to provide the appropriate level of protection.
- Keep PPE properly maintained in a good condition.
- Monitor the use and maintenance of PPE.
- Display safety signs to remind workers when PPE must be worn.
- Train workers in the correct use of the PPE, including when and how it must be used, and how to check it is in good repair and working order.
The Regulations also make it clear that the need for PPE should be avoided if at all possible. Supplying PPE should only be used as a last resort where those risks cannot be eliminated or reduced by any other means.
If your employer has not met their duties under these regulations, and you have suffered an injury, this will provide a strong basis for a claim.
Your injuries will likely be the main ‘harm’ for which you are claiming compensation. Compensation awarded for injuries is based upon two things:
- The pain and suffering the injuries have caused you; and
- What the injuries have prevented you from doing, or enjoying in normal life.
However, it is unlikely that your injuries will be the only loss you have suffered. Many financial losses can follow on from an accident, or occur as a consequence of your injuries. Some standard categories of losses are:
- Loss of earnings – When you have been forced to miss work or otherwise lose out on income. This can cover many kinds of income such as: lost wages, bonus payments, commission, or anticipated earnings.
- Travel expenses – For journeys made necessary by the accident, such as to attend your GP or hospital.
- Medical expenses and treatment costs – To assist your recovery, such as painkillers or rehabilitation treatment.
- Care and assistance – Where friends, family, or healthcare professionals are required to help you in your daily life.
There are many other kinds of loss for which you can claim compensation. If you would like to know more, download our free ebook: The Ultimate Personal Injury Compensation Guide.
All personal injury claims are restricted by legal time limits. The usual time limit for personal injury claims is 3 years, meaning that claim must be settled, or court proceedings commenced, within 3 years of the accident.
There are exceptions to this, however. For example, if you have suffered an industrial disease due to inadequate PPE, then it may not be obvious when exactly your ‘injury’ was caused. With industrial diseases like occupational asthma, it may be some time after the harmful exposure before any symptoms develop. In cases like this, a 3-year time limit runs instead from the date when you knew, or ought to have had known, of the harm you had suffered. Often this will be when you were diagnosed with your condition.
Further exceptions may apply to these time limit rules as well, meaning the situation can become complicated. It is always advisable to act as soon as possible if you think you may have a personal injury claim. If you are concerned about time limits or wish to know where you stand, please do not hesitate to contact us.