A guide to making a No Win No Fee inadequate protective equipment claim
Employers have a duty to safeguard their employees, shielding them from potential risks in the work environment. Part of this involves providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Equipment must not only be provided, it must also be fit for purpose, offering adequate protection.
Quittance's solicitors can assist with all PPE-related claims, including:
- Foot lacerations caused by inappropriate footwear
- Burns sustained as a result of gloves that are too short or thin
- Eye damage as a result of ill-fitting safety goggles
- Head injury due to an insufficient hard helmet
The figures on PPE accidents
According to a 2006 survey by RIDDOR, there are around 9,000 PPE-related accidents each year. Within this, hand, arm and foot protection were the most common types of PPE cited, followed by eye and face protection.
Major injuries are most likely to occur in the construction and agricultural industries. Injuries were less severe in industries such as manufacturing and services.
What does the law say about PPE?
When it comes to safety at work, employers are guided by a number of protocols. The most relevant piece of law is The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992).
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are responsible for helping to enforce it.
What is PPE?
The regulations define 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, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective."
This includes safety helmets or other protective headgear, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear, safety harnesses, and respirators or other types of protective masks.
What are the responsibilities of an employer?
According to The Personal Protective Equipment Act (1992), the employer must view PPE as a last resort measure. Before it is used, they are required to ensure that risk has first been adequately controlled by other means. Where PPE is still required, the employer must ensure that it is:
- Provided (and paid for by the employer)
- Suitable for its intended use e.g. appropriate for the risks involved; takes account of the ergonomic requirements and personal needs of user; is properly fitted; meets design standards.
- Compatible where more than one item needs to be used together
- Properly stored and maintained to avoid damage or defects
- Used correctly, giving employees training and instruction where necessary
From this, the employee also assumes some responsibility. They must ensure they use and maintain the PPE as instructed by the employer, and report any defects.
What is ?inadequate PPE'?
Where an employer provides PPE but fails to meet any of the further requirements stipulated in The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992), they are supplying inadequate protective equipment. By doing so, they place their employees at unacceptable levels of risk.
If an employee suffers a personal injury as a direct result of this failure, they are entitled to claim compensation based on employer negligence.
An employer may have supplied inadequate protective equipment for a number of reasons including:
- The risks and needs of the individual user were not effectively or appropriately assessed
- Poor quality PPE was supplied in ignorance or in an attempt to save money
But, no matter the reason, the employer would still be negligible.
Experienced work accident solicitors
Accidents at work need to be handled sensitively and carefully. For this reason, seeking expert legal advice is recommended.
Quittance's panel of solicitors have helped numerous employees receive compensation after being involved in an accident resulting from inadequate protective equipment.
No Win, No Fee agreements and work injury claims
A No Win, No Fee agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), forms a crucial component of the majority of injury claims.
A CFA details the work executed by the solicitor handling your case and a percentage success fee that will be taken from the compensation when the claim is won.
You have peace of mind with the knowledge that that there will be nothing whatsoever to pay if the claim is not successful. You have absolutely no hidden fees when choosing a a Quittance personal injury lawyer.
What to do next
Before you decide to instruct a lawyer arm yourself with information about the claims process. This can help you to make the best choice.
Find answers to common questions asked by potential Claimants on our FAQ page.
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