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Personal Protective Equipment

Your guide to claiming compensation for personal protective equipment negligence

Your Legal Friend client Mr Dowse

They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently.

Mr Dowse
Leeds

Your guide to personal protective equipment negligence

Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is your crucial barrier between safety and injury in the workplace. Many of the accidents and injuries that occur in a working environment can easily be prevented if the right protective equipment is worn. 

Your employer’s responsibility

Your employer is legally responsible for assessing every task in advance and ensuring you are protected from injury if something goes wrong unexpectedly. Different workplaces can present their own hazards and each task can cause a specific type of accident and injury.

 

Each type of Personal Protective Equipment is categorised by the area of the body to be protected against a particular hazard. Standard equipment can include:

  • Safety helmets / hard hats
  • Ear defenders / plugs
  • High-visibility clothing
  • Face masks
  • Safety boots / footwear
  • Breathing apparatus
  • Gloves – different types for specific hazards
  • Safety harnesses
  • Eye protection

It’s not enough that your employer issues protective equipment to safeguard you against an injury. You must also be instructed in knowing why, when and how to wear this protective equipment correctly. An injury can be made worse simply because the equipment is incorrectly worn or used.

Any equipment you are provided with should be in good working order and condition, and suitable to fully protect you against a particular level of hazard. Serious injuries happen because protective equipment has not been checked and maintained, and no longer meets the required safety standard to prevent an injury if an accident does occur.

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Our expert team will call you..

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our Personal Injury and Road Accident teams. A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high quality client care.

Personal protective equipment compensation team

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton. Philip, Lee, and Jenna lead legal teams focussing on Road Traffic Accident cases while Kathyrn leads our Personal Injury team. Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

Philip, a qualified solicitor, has over 18 years’ experience in personal injury compensation. Having previously worked for a large insurance company, he has extensive insights in how to engage effectively with insurers to achieve the level of compensation our clients deserve. Philip deals with cases of high value, complex cases, and recently secured £1.6 million in compensation for one of his clients who suffered catastrophic injuries in a road accident.

Lee has over 15 years’ specialist experience in Personal Injury claims and also manages a wide variety of high value, complex cases. Lee has extensive experience of working with insurance companies, acting for both claimants and defendants, and so understands how to secure the highest levels of compensation for the victims of road traffic accidents.

Jenna is a qualified solicitor and has studied to become a barrister. Jenna leads the internal reviews of our case management processes to ensure excellent, efficient case handling and high levels of client satisfaction.

Kathryn, also a qualified solicitor, specialises in accidents at work, public liability and accidents abroad. Kathryn deals with a wide variety of cases, often including accidents that involve serious, complex injuries.

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When would you like us to call?

There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

What our customers say

Mrs. Vora's portrait

“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

A photo of Mr Dowse

“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining a full description of your accident
Step
2
Obtaining your medical records
Step
3
Contacting the company responsible for your accident
Step
4
Arranging your medical assessment
Step
5
Collating details of your financial loss
Step
86
Negotiating the maximum settlement possibleProviding you with our valuation of your losses
Step
7
Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer
Step
68
Providing you with our valuation of your lossesNegotiating the maximum settlement possible
Step
9
Issuing Court proceedings
Step
10
Sending you your compensation payment

Your questions... answered

What are the most common causes of injury due to failed PPE?

Many of the most frequent types of life-changing injuries are the result of:

  • The wrong type of safety gloves, masks or boots being worn – caused by the failure to carry out a proper risk assessment specific to the work task. The right type of PPE may also not be available to be issued.
  • Neglecting to check and maintain the condition of a safety harness – which directly caused a catastrophic or fatal accident.
  • Faulty or inadequate eye protection or ear defenders - which were unable to provide the required level of safety protection against harmful exposure.

What common injuries occur as a result of PPE negligence?

Longer term harm and injury to health,caused by the lack of appropriate PPE, include:

  • Amputations to hands or fingers
  • Broken or crushed toes
  • Falls from height
  • Burn
  • An enduring skin irritation

As an employee, you should always be provided with the required level of protection to minimise the potential risk of suffering an accident or injury when carrying out your job. If you have suffered an injury and have reason to believe that your employer failed in their duty of care, you may decide to pursue a claim for compensation.

What are my employers’ responsibilities?

Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, an employer has a legal duty to ensure protective equipment is supplied and used wherever there are unavoidable risks in carrying out tasks in the workplace.

All necessary PPE should be provided free of charge and an employer cannot ask for any financial contribution to be made towards the equipment.

The Regulations require an employer to:

  • Properly assess PPE before use to ensure it is able to provide the required level of safety protection
  • Provide PPE to the correct size and fit to ensure the required protection for each individual employee
  • Provide employees with instructions on how to use the PPE correctly
  • Ensure that employees correctly and safely follow the instructions they have been given
  • Ensure that different PPE items are compatible with each other and can be worn together without reducing the full level of safety protection provided by each item
  • Ensure equipment is regularly maintained and correctly stored.

What protection for different parts of the body is available?

PPE should always be used whenever the risk of an injury to a part of the body cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. There are specific types of equipment designed to protect you from the risk of injury to different parts of the body, including:

  • Safety helmets and hard hats, safety boots and footwear

Head and feet are at risk from falling objects, obstructions, slips and trips. Appropriate footwear should be selected for the risks identified, such as foundry or chainsaw boots. A variety of sole patterns and materials are available to help prevent slips in different conditions, including soles that are oil- or chemical-resistant, anti-static, electrically conductive or thermally insulating.

 

  • Gloves – different types for specific hazards

Fingers, hands and skin are at risk from corrosive substances. Special gloves with a cuff, gauntlets and sleeves to cover part or all of the arm may be necessary when handling specific materials, substances or liquids.

  • Safety glasses and goggles

Eyes can be damaged by airborne dust, flying objects, corrosive liquids, and electrical or welding sparks.

  • Ear defenders and plugs

Ears can be affected by excessive noise levels

  • Face masks and breathing apparatus

Lungs can bedamaged by breathing in airborne dust or toxic fumes. Basic safety levels of air filtering can achieved by using face masks, respirators or extraction units. Breathing apparatus will be necessary in a confined space or where there is a lack of adequate oxygen in the work area.

However the right type of masks must be used as each is effective for only a limited range of substances and filters have only a limited life.

  • Safety harnesses

Injuries to the body may occur during falls from height

  • High-visibility clothing

            Injuries can happen as a result of being hit by a vehicle

  • Thermal and insulation suits

Unprotected bodies can suffer from extremes of heat or cold 

Read less

What should I do if PPE failed to protect me from an injury?

You may have good grounds to claim a failure to provide a duty of care if you’ve suffered an injury which you strongly believe was caused by the inability of your PPE equipment to protect you from:

  • Head, hand or foot injuries
  • Cuts, burns, lacerations or wounding to the body
  • Eye damage
  • Breathing in harmful dust, particles, fumes or toxins
  • Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other long term industrial deafness

An employer, manager, or supervisor who says that a job will ‘only take a few minutes’ so it’s not worth bothering with PPE can put your life at risk.

Many of the most frequent types of life-changing injuries are the result of:

  • The wrong type of safety gloves, masks or boots being worn – caused by the failure to carry out a proper risk assessment specific to the work task. The right type of PPE may also not be available to be issued.
  • Neglecting to check and maintain the condition of a safety harness – which directly caused a catastrophic or fatal accident.
  • Faulty or inadequate eye protection or ear defenders - which were unable to provide the required level of safety protection against harmful exposure.

Longer term harm and injury to health,caused by the lack of appropriate PPE, include:

  • Amputations to hands or fingers
  • Broken or crushed toes
  • Falls from height
  • Burn
  • An enduring skin irritation

As an employee, you should always be provided with the required level of protection to minimise the potential risk of suffering an accident or injury when carrying out your job. If you have suffered an injury and have reason to believe that your employer failed in their duty of care, you may decide to pursue a claim for compensation.

Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, an employer has a legal duty to ensure protective equipment is supplied and used wherever there are unavoidable risks in carrying out tasks in the workplace.

All necessary PPE should be provided free of charge and an employer cannot ask for any financial contribution to be made towards the equipment.

The Regulations require an employer to:

  • Properly assess PPE before use to ensure it is able to provide the required level of safety protection
  • Provide PPE to the correct size and fit to ensure the required protection for each individual employee
  • Provide employees with instructions on how to use the PPE correctly
  • Ensure that employees correctly and safely follow the instructions they have been given
  • Ensure that different PPE items are compatible with each other and can be worn together without reducing the full level of safety protection provided by each item
  • Ensure equipment is regularly maintained and correctly stored.

PPE should always be used whenever the risk of an injury to a part of the body cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. There are specific types of equipment designed to protect you from the risk of injury to different parts of the body, including:

  • Safety helmets and hard hats, safety boots and footwear

Head and feet are at risk from falling objects, obstructions, slips and trips. Appropriate footwear should be selected for the risks identified, such as foundry or chainsaw boots. A variety of sole patterns and materials are available to help prevent slips in different conditions, including soles that are oil- or chemical-resistant, anti-static, electrically conductive or thermally insulating.

 

  • Gloves – different types for specific hazards

Fingers, hands and skin are at risk from corrosive substances. Special gloves with a cuff, gauntlets and sleeves to cover part or all of the arm may be necessary when handling specific materials, substances or liquids.

  • Safety glasses and goggles

Eyes can be damaged by airborne dust, flying objects, corrosive liquids, and electrical or welding sparks.

  • Ear defenders and plugs

Ears can be affected by excessive noise levels

  • Face masks and breathing apparatus

Lungs can bedamaged by breathing in airborne dust or toxic fumes. Basic safety levels of air filtering can achieved by using face masks, respirators or extraction units. Breathing apparatus will be necessary in a confined space or where there is a lack of adequate oxygen in the work area.

However the right type of masks must be used as each is effective for only a limited range of substances and filters have only a limited life.

  • Safety harnesses

Injuries to the body may occur during falls from height

  • High-visibility clothing

            Injuries can happen as a result of being hit by a vehicle

  • Thermal and insulation suits

Unprotected bodies can suffer from extremes of heat or cold 

Read less

You may have good grounds to claim a failure to provide a duty of care if you’ve suffered an injury which you strongly believe was caused by the inability of your PPE equipment to protect you from:

  • Head, hand or foot injuries
  • Cuts, burns, lacerations or wounding to the body
  • Eye damage
  • Breathing in harmful dust, particles, fumes or toxins
  • Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and other long term industrial deafness

An employer, manager, or supervisor who says that a job will ‘only take a few minutes’ so it’s not worth bothering with PPE can put your life at risk.