A Guide to Claiming Inadequate Protective Equipment Compensation

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an inadequate protective equipment injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an inadequate protective equipment injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

Introduction

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

Do I have an inadequate protective equipment claim?

It should be possible to make an inadequate protective equipment claim if you were injured:

  • in the last three years and;
  • someone else was to blame.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.

To find out for sure, speak to a legally trained adviser on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?

Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.

In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.

Read more

What if the employer has gone bust?

Even if an employer or their insurer has gone out of business, a former worker may still be able to make a work-related accident claim.

Employers are legally required to carry Employer's Liability Insurance. This insurance ensures that protection is in place for employees affected by work-related accidents or industrial disease. The majority of successful claims are not paid out by the employer but by the employer's insurance company.

In extreme cases, where an employer and their insurer have both ceased trading, and no other responsible party can be traced, compensation may still be available through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Read more: Can I claim compensation if my employer has gone bust?

Can I claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit?

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) is a non-contributory, no-fault weekly benefit paid to workers and former workers who become disabled because of an accident at work or due to certain industrial diseases.

Anyone who has sustained a disability as a result of injuries or diseases arising from work may be eligible to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Read more

What if I was diagnosed months after the inadequate protective equipment?

Depending on how your inadequate protective equipment happened, the three-year time limit may only start from the date you are diagnosed and learn of the cause of your injury. In some cases, this can be months or years after the cause occurred.

Check my claim

How much compensation can I claim for inadequate protective equipment?

The amount of money you could claim for your inadequate protective equipment will depend on:

  • the extent of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your inadequate protective equipment has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.

This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after an inadequate protective equipment? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple inadequate protective equipment injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a severe eye injury can be £43,000

For a more minor hand injury, in isolation, you would typically receive £3,000.

However, if you have a severe eye injury and a more minor hand injury, you would typically receive £43,000 + a reduced percentage of £3,000.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries.

What is the average injury compensation for an inadequate protective equipment claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following an inadequate protective equipment will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your inadequate protective equipment compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Find out what your inadequate protective equipment claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple injuries.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Can I claim for an existing inadequate protective equipment that has got worse?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.

Calculate my claim

How long do I have to make an inadequate protective equipment claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the inadequate protective equipment to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your inadequate protective equipment claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for an inadequate protective equipment after 3 years?

The general rule is no, you cannot start a claim more than three years after an inadequate protective equipment.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an inadequate protective equipment claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Will I still be able to claim for an inadequate protective equipment after the law changes in April 2020?

The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.

You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).

In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your inadequate protective equipment claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:

  • Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
  • Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
  • Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.

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

No win, no fee removes the risk from making an inadequate protective equipment claim. If your claim is unsuccessful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making an inadequate protective equipment claim, even if you don't win your claim.

What do I pay if I win my inadequate protective equipment claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my inadequate protective equipment claim?

If your inadequate protective equipment claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .

Read more about No win, no fee

Please note, under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning work accident claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Inadequate Protective Equipment FAQ's

Can I claim for someone else?

Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.

If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.

The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?

You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.

However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long will my claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.

Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.

Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?

No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.

Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

Can I get an early compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.

An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert