PPE includes items such as safety boots, goggles, air filtration masks, respirators, harnesses, high visibility clothing and any other protective item that would ensure an employee’s safety. The PPE required by employees will vary significantly depending upon their job role, so tree workers will require chainsaw trousers, to protect against accidental lacerations; whilst asbestos removal workers will require protective suits and air filtration masks to protect against the onset of asbestosis.
If you have suffered an occupational injury or industrial illness that was made worse, or caused by, a lack of PPE then you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
Why do accidents occur?
The most common cause of accidents relating to PPE is that protective equipment may not be made available to personnel, or they may not receive the right level of training to enable correct usage. Personal Protective Equipment can quite literally be a life or death matter and so it warrants the utmost care and attention by employers.
All employees should receive frequent and thorough training in the use of safety equipment, safety methods and risk reducing techniques and initiatives. All personal protective equipment should be stored safely, and should be frequently checked and maintained to ensure they operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. All equipment should be offered with usage instructions and equipment faults and damages need to be catalogued and remedied to prevent further use, until repairs can be made, or a replacement can be issued.
Unfortunately, some employers may avoid issuing PPE to save money, or they may just be negligent; whilst others may offer comprehensive training, but may not be checking to ensure that PPE is being use properly, or if it is being used at all.
So accidents may occur through the improper use of PPE, or because the employee was issued with the wrong personal protective equipment for the job, assuming that they were issued any at all.
What sort of injuries can be caused?
There are numerous industrial injuries that can be caused through a lack of PPE, crushed limbs, toes and fingers can occur where safety boots and gloves are not used; lacerations and amputations can occur among employees that work with chainsaws and other bladed tools, whilst head and brain injuries can occur where no helmets or hard hats are issued. In some instances, dire accidents and fatalities can occur where faulty harnesses and safety ropes are issued.
Some personal injuries are not always immediately apparent however.
A lack of air filtration masks, respirators or protective clothing can lead to:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Industrial deafness
- Occupational dermatitis
- Vibration White Finger (VWF) / Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
Above is just a sample, there are a variety of industrial diseases that can be caused if insufficient or unsuitable protective equipment is issued. The problem with these conditions is that they can take years to surface, by which point the damage is already done and in many cases, is irreversible.
At Asons Solicitors, we have dealt with a variety of personal injury and industrial disease claims which could have been prevented if workers had been provided with appropriate personal protective equipment.
Who’s duty is it to provide PPE?
No, current regulations and legislation state clearly that all PPE necessary for your working role should be provided free of charge by your employer. Your employer has a duty of care to you as employee, so it is their responsibility to keep you safe whilst at work. Your employer has no right to ask for a financial contribution from you towards the cost of your personal protective equipment.
It is also the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all PPE is properly checked and inspected before use to ensure that it is suitable and functioning correctly for its intended purpose. Your employer must also ensure that PPE is stored and looked after appropriately, replacing equipment when required to do so. Instructions for equipment use must be made available to personnel and where items of PPE must be worn together, they must be compatible and must not undermine the desired protection provided by each item.
Who can be injured?
Personal Protective Equipment is as much for your protection as it is for others. If an equipment failure or a lack of PPE results in the injury of yourself, a colleague or an innocent bystander, you can make a personal injury clai,m and they may also be able to make a claim for compensation if employer negligence can be proven.
Our Accident Caused By A Lack of PPE Claims Experience
If you or someone you know has been injured due to a lack of PPE, or due to employer negligence speak to us today for accurate and up-to-date advice. There are strict time limits in place when it comes to filing a personal injury claim like this. Due to the wealth of legislation and regulations in place, employers have very little excuse for allowing these accidents to happen. If you are injured as a result of their negligence you are well within your rights to make a PPE accident claim for compensation.
A claim will not make your injury disappear, but if you are still suffering from the effects, the compensation you do receive can pay towards better treatment, and it can give you the financial security you need to take some time off to focus on getting better. If you feel that you can make a PPE claim, speak to us.
Our comprehensive guide to the problem of accidents sustained at work, called Workplace Accidents – The Occupational Hazard, details all types of common claims from falls to electric shocks to hearing loss.
If you would like more information on preventative measures for work, or if you would like information to present to your employer, The Health and Safety Executive also provides useful guidance on Personal Protective Equipment. They also provide printable brochures, guides and posters for use in and around the workplace. The injury sustained will dictate the types of support groups you will find most useful; your GP will be able to provide details on websites that may be useful to you.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of expert PPE accident claims solicitors have a wealth of expertise and knowledge that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. So for free, expert advice on pursuing an PPE accident claim, speak to us today.