If you suffer an injury at work because your employer failed to provide you with personal protective equipment so you could carry out a job safely, you may be entitled to file an accident at work claim against them. The reason being that all employers must provide workers with industry standard PPE and if they fail to do so, they could be held in breach of their legal duty to ensure that employees are not put at risk or danger when they are in the workplace.
To find out whether you have a valid claim against an employer because they failed to provide the correct personal protective equipment, please read on.
- The Law Regarding Personal Protective Equipment in the UK
- Why is Personal Protective Equipment Important in the Workplace?
- Does an Employer Have to Provide Adequate Training?
- Is There a Time Limit to Making an Accident at Work Claim Against an Employer?
- Do I Have Worker’s Rights If I Am Injured at Work Because I Did Not Have the Correct PPE?
- What Should I Do If I Am Injured at Work Because My Employer Did Not Provide PPE?
- What Losses and Damages Can Be Included in an Accident at Work Claim?
- Would a Lawyer Represent Me On a No Win No Fee Basis If I File a Claim Against Them?
- Informative Links
Under UK law, employers are duty bound to adhere to the regulations and laws listed below:
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulation 1992 (all amendments included)
- The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002
If your job entails you working with hazardous substances and chemicals or the environment you work in is deemed to be dangerous because you handle hazardous materials, your employer is legally bound to ensure that you are provided with industry standard personal protective equipment. Failure to provide adequate PPE would mean that an employer could be deemed negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury in the workplace.
Adequate protective equipment and wear must be provided to all workers who handle the following materials:
If you work with any of the above materials or in a high level of noise work environment, you must be provided with the correct PPE so you can carry out the work you are tasked to do as safely as possible and with minimum risk to your health and safety.
Employers in the UK must ensure that the PPE they provide you with is kept in good condition and that it is always readily and easily available to use when needed. On top of providing adequate industry standard personal protective equipment, your employer must also ensure the following:
- That you are given correct instructions on how to carry out the work you are tasked to do
- That you were provided with the correct practices and procedures on how a job must be done
- That you were provided with sufficient training to do a job
- That the correct level of supervision was provided at all times
- That a work environment is deemed as safe as feasibly possible for you to work in
The correct industry standard PPE protects you from the following situations which could negatively impact your health and overall well-being:
- Breathing in toxic, contaminated air which could lead to you suffering from a respiratory condition
- Being injured by falling objects, items or materials that fall from a height causing you to suffer head or foot injuries
- Being splashed by hazardous, corrosive substances or other particles that could result in you suffering injuries to your eyes
- Coming into contact with dangerous and corrosive substances/materials that could lead to you suffering skin injuries and disorders
- Suffering extreme temperatures whether hot or cold which could result in you sustaining injuries to your body
Should you be injured in an accident at work because an employer failed to provide you with adequate PPE, you should contact a legal expert who would assess your case by offering you an initial consultation which is typically free of charge. This allows the solicitor to assess your claim against an employer before advising on how best to proceed with an accident at work claim.
Under UK law, an employer must provide you with adequate training to carry out a job safely which includes when using any sort of machinery, equipment and tools. You must have been given the following even when adequate safety measures have been set in place:
- Adequate training to use specialist machinery or equipment
- Adequate training so that you can recognise when there are faults so they can be reported straight away
An employer must provide PPE that meets the Personal Protective Regulations 2002 and the equipment and wear must bear the CE mark. Your employer also has a legal duty to ensure the following:
- That you are provided with the right equipment to carry out a job. An example being that you must be given PPE that suits your size and as such, you must be permitted to choose the equipment you need yourself
- That you are correctly trained to use PPE. An example being trained how to remove protective gloves without causing any sort of injury to yourself
- That PPE must be worn at all times with no “exceptions” being permitted. An example being not to wear the correct PPE because a task would only take a few minutes to carry out
- For all PPE to be correctly stored, easily available and kept in good condition at all times
- That any damage to or loss of PPE is reported immediately
- To ensure that the right replacements are used when required
- To make sure that you and your fellow workers know who is responsible for maintaining personal protective equipment
- To make available required disposable wear to you and all fellow workers as well as any people who may visit a workplace
- That the right equipment is readily available in case of an emergency. Examples being breathing equipment, safety harnesses, safety ropes and respirators
If you have to wear more than one type of personal protective equipment, it is your employer’s responsibility to make sure that any items can be worn safely together. An example being should you need to wear safety googles and breathing equipment at the same time so that you remain safe while carrying out a more hazardous job in the workplace.
There is a time limit associated with work-related personal injury claims which is set at three years. However, the deadline begins at differing times depending on the workplace injury you sustained, when a health issue was diagnosed and when the incident occurred. This is explained as follows:
- Three years from the date of a workplace accident in which you were injured because you did not have the necessary personal protective equipment
- Three years from the date when a medical professional officially diagnosed you as having developed a medical issue that they can directly associate with the workplace incident in which you suffered injuries
- Three years from the date you turn 18 years of age should the incident have happened before your 18th birthday
If you are concerned that you may be close to the deadline for filing for compensation against an employer, you should discuss your case with a legal expert who would assess your case before advising you whether there is still time to make an accident at work claim.
Worker’s rights are very protected in the UK and there are many laws and legislation in place to ensure that you are kept as safe as possible whilst you are at work. As previously mentioned, your employer has a legal obligation to ensure that when necessary, you are provided with the right industry standard protective personal equipment. If they fail to do so and you suffer an injury, they could be deemed negligent in their legal duty to ensure you kept safe from harm and injury while in their employment.
Your rights if you are injured in the workplace because an employer failed to provide you with the correct PPE include the following:
- You have the right to seek medical attention and be treated for any injuries you sustained in the workplace
- You have the right to be compensated for the distress, loss of amenity, pain and suffering you endured
- You have the right to be compensated for all the out of pocket expenses you incurred because you were injured in the workplace
- You have the right to know that an employer cannot legally sack you because you make an accident at work claim against them due to the fact they did not provide you with personal protective equipment
An employer also has a legal duty to ensure that you are provided with the following:
- The PPE you were given suited the work you were asked to carry out
- That risk assessments are regularly done to identify hazards and to make sure that safety measures are set in place to reduce the risk of harm and injury coming to you and your fellow workers
- To abide by all Health and Safety Regulations at all times
Should you be injured in a workplace accident because your employer failed to provide you with industry standard personal protective equipment, you should contact a legal expert who would offer you essential advice on whether you have a strong case because your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm and injury at work.
If you are injured at work because your employer failed to provide you with the right kind of PPE, there are specific steps that must be followed which are detailed below:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
- Make sure the incident is reported whether this is directly to an employer of the person who is in charge of a work environment
- Make sure the incident is recorded in the work’s Accident Book. Another option you have is to send a personal email or a registered letter to your employer detailing your injuries, the workplace accident and the date it occurred
- Check to see if the accident was “reportable” to the RIDDOR
- Gather as many witness statements as you can not forgetting to get their contact details too
- Get photos or a copy of the CCTV footage (if available) of where the accident occurred
- Take photos of the workplace injuries you suffered because you were not given personal protective equipment
- Get a medical report of the injuries you suffered making sure that the doctor who examines you notes down even the more minor symptoms you may be experiencing because later on, it could turn into something a lot more serious
The more proof and evidence you have that an employer failed to provide you with adequate or any personal protective equipment, the stronger your case would be so that you receive the level of workplace accident compensation you would be entitled to.
If your employer failed in their legal duty to ensure you are kept safe from injury at work because you were not provided with PPE, you would be entitled to include your losses and your damages in your accident at work claim. Compensation is divided into two parts which are detailed below:
- General damages are awarded as compensation for distress, pain, suffering and loss of amenity you endured as well as the mental anguish you experienced as a result of the injury you sustained in a workplace accident. General damages also compensate you if your injuries are such that you are unable to continue working in your chosen career and you find it hard to find alternative employment
- Special damages are awarded as a way to compensate you for all the expenses and costs that you incurred as a direct result of having been injured in the workplace. This would include travel and medical expenses as well as all other costs that you paid out that can be directly linked to the workplace injuries you sustained. Special damages also compensate you for the loss of any perks and bonuses you may have missed out on during your time off work and any loss of future earnings should you not be able to work again. You can also include the cost of home and vehicle adaptations as well as care costs which are covered by special damages that you would be awarded in a successful accident at work claim
If you need legal advice on what you may include in an accident at work claim, you should discuss your concerns with a lawyer who would assess you claim before offering essential advice on what you can include and what you may not include in your accident at work claim against an employer. In short, seeking advice from a legal expert would ensure that you are awarded the correct level of compensation for the workplace injuries you sustained which would include for the injuries you suffered and all the out of pocket expenses you had to cope with.
The cost of legal representation puts may people off filing for compensation for injuries they suffered in the workplace through no fault of their own. However, if you strongly believe that your employer was negligent in their duty to provide you with the necessary industry standard personal protective equipment so that you could carry out a job you were tasked to do safely, a solicitor would represent you offering No Win No Fee terms. In short, the solicitor would accept the risk of having to waive their “success fee” should you not win your case against an employer. A No Win No Fee agreement lays out the terms and conditions of the contract and is a binding legal agreement between yourself and the solicitor who represents you.
The contract also set out the amount you would have to pay the solicitor on a successful accident at work claim. This is a percentage of the money you are awarded which is referred to as a “success fee”. The money you pay the solicitor for the legal advice and representation they provided would be taken out of the compensation you are awarded whether this is by a judge or in an “out of court” settlement, bearing in mind that a very high percentage of personal injury claims never get to court because if the insurer loses the case, they would have to pay all the court costs, theirs and yours.
If you would like more information regarding an employer’s responsibility to provide the correct industry standard personal protective equipment so you can carry out a job safely, please follow the link provided below:
To find out more about the Government regulations regarding CE markings on personal protective equipment, please follow the link provide below:
If you would like more information regarding an employer’s duty to provide adequate training so that you can carry out your work safely, please click on the link provided below: