Injury at work claims are made, in many cases, due to the lack of, or substandard personal protective equipment provided by the employer.
If you have suffered an injury at work which could have been avoided if the required personal protective equipment been provided, then please call us now and speak to our experienced claims advisers to find out if you can make a claim for compensation.
In the UK it is the responsibility of your employer to provide you with personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent injury at work where possible. The Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 are used as a tool by which to govern the use of PPE within the workplace, and those employers found to be in breach of these regulations by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) may find themselves facing legal action as a result.
What is PPE?
The Short Guide to The Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, released by the HSE, defines PPE as ‘all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health or safety’.
What should be noted however is that neither respiratory nor hearing protection are covered by these regulations as they are governed by a number of alternative regulations, though governed separately they must be compatible with any PPE provided by your employer.
All equipment that’s provided as a means of protecting oneself or ones employees from injury at work is considered PPE. Therefore any equipment that’s provided as a means of protecting oneself or ones employees is considered PPE, meaning that high visibility clothing, gloves such as those used to reduce the ill effects of vibrating machinery, helmets, protective eye wear such as goggles or specially tinted glasses, as well as any harnessing or clothing at all used as a means of protection from the weather or workplace is considered PPE by the Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992.
Should I pay for PPE?
No. As it’s the duty of your employer to provide PPE it cannot be expected that you should financially contribute to the payment of what is owed to you, therefore your employer or the organisation you work for is wholly responsible for supplying you with PPE free of charge.
Furthermore, it is the duty of your employer to ensure that all PPE is assessed prior to its use to determine its suitability. Examples of such include the correct fitting of protective clothing, goggles, harnesses etc. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) requires instructions of PPE be provided to all employees by their employers, again this is to ensure both safety and suitability.
PPE can only be charged for by an employer if the PPE is retained by the employee after their contract of employment has been terminated, all PPE paid for by the employer is the property of the employer.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone who could sustain an injury at work during the course of their employment, who could have been protected from such injuries had protective clothing or equipment been provided. Examples of such instances include:
- Respiratory problems brought on by exposure to asbestos, dust, chemical vapour, etc.
- The splashing of chemicals, vapour or dust that gets into the air which causes damage to your eyes.
- Head injuries caused by falling heavy objects. Alternatively, hair entanglement can also cause severe injuries at work as people are pulled into machinery by their hair.
- Splintering, spray-back, metal splash, and other work injuries which are prevented by wearing overalls and high visibility clothing.
All of the work injuries mentioned above could be prevented if basic PPE is provided. Masks, goggles/eye-wear, hard hats and caps, as well as boiler suits and overalls would all have, in the right circumstance, helped to prevent these injuries at work.
Accidents at work caused by a lack of personal protective equipment occur across the UK nearly every day. It is often the case that neither the employer nor the employees knew that protective equipment was required until the employee is injured whilst at work, especially in small firms that consist of a handful of employees.
Ignorance though is no excuse. Whether you have been injured from a nail through your boot, falling objects from which you weren’t protected, exposure to hazardous chemicals, gases or substances such as asbestos, or any number of other instances in which you were not provided adequate protection, then please call us now to find out whether you are eligible to claim compensation for a work injury.