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Inadequate PPE at Work – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

From construction sites to healthcare settings, the consequences of inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) can have profound effects on workers’ health and well-being. Importantly, if missing, inadequate or unsafe PPE causes you to be injured at work, you could be entitled to claim compensation. Therefore, this guide to PPE claims covers essential steps, rights, and considerations every worker should know when claiming compensation for inadequate PPE at work.

To check if you might be entitled to start a PPE compensation claim, we offer a free initial assessment where a legal advisor could review your case and offer no-obligation legal advice. Should your claim appear feasible, you could be connected with one of our specialist accident-at-work solicitors. If they agree to help, you’ll be represented on a No Win, No Fee basis.

To find out if you can claim compensation for a PPE-related injury or illness at work, you can:

  • Call 0333 241 2519 to speak to a specialist now.
  • Make use of our free live chat service.

Please get in touch if you believe you should receive compensation for inadequate PPE at work or continue through this guide.

What is PPE at Work?

Personal protective equipment, in the eyes of the law, is any type of device, implement or clothing that is handheld or worn to keep you safe. Here are some examples of PPE that might be required in your workplace:

  • Protective Gloves.
  • Breathing apparatus, respirators or face masks.
  • Steel toe-capped on anti-slip footwear.
  • Protective clothing.
  • Helmets or hard hats.
  • Visors, glasses, goggles and other forms of eye protection.
  • Safety harnesses.

Other types of PPE may be required depending on the nature of your work.

Can I Make a Claim for Inadequate PPE at Work?

You might already be aware that your employer has a legal duty to keep you safe while you’re working because of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974. One of the ways they can uphold this duty is to conduct regular risk assessments and remove or reduce any dangers they identify. However, this isn’t always possible so providing PPE could be an alternative option.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 set important rules on the provision of workplace PPE which must be followed by employers. It means that:

  • PPE should be used if there is no other way to remove a workplace danger.
  • Any required PPE must be provided by your employer for free.
  • PPE must meet minimum safety standards, fit you properly and be able to protect you.
  • Employers must ensure that PPE is stored and maintained correctly. It must also be ready to use when needed.
  • PPE must be compatible with any other safety equipment used in your role.
  • Importantly, PPE must be provided by the employer at no cost to the employee.

As such, you might be entitled to claim compensation for work-related PPE injuries if:

  • You were owed a legal duty of care by your employer (which is usually always the case).
  • Negligent actions or inactions by your employer resulted in you not having proper PPE, leading to an incident at work.
  • You suffered injuries from this incident, thus establishing grounds for a claim regarding inadequate PPE.

Remember, even if you were given PPE by your employer, you could still be entitled to begin a compensation claim if it was damaged, unsuitable or the wrong size. Please get in touch to find out more.

What Types of Negligence Can Lead to PPE Claims?

Here are a few examples of when employer negligence might enable you to begin a PPE claim:

  • If you fell from a scissor lift and suffered serious spinal injuries because you were not given a safety harness.
  • Where you’ve been diagnosed with contact dermatitis because you were not given latex gloves to protect you from workplace irritants.
  • If all of your toes were crushed after masonry was dropped on your feet whilst working in construction and you hadn’t been given steel toe-capped boots to protect you.
  • Where you have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) because face masks were not provided and you were exposed to certain dusts or irritants.
  • If you were left with a head injury at work after items thrown from scaffolding hit you on the head and you hadn’t been given a hard hat.

If you’ve been injured in any other way and you believe the accident could’ve been avoided had the proper PPE been available, please call our team for free legal advice.

What Should I Do If I’m Worried About Inadequate PPE in the Workplace?

If you suspect that your role at work is endangering your health and safety because your employer is supplying inadequate PPE, or none at all, there are a couple of steps you can take:

  1. Tell your employer about what in particular is worrying you. Where possible, make suggestions about the type of PPE you think might benefit you. It is often best to do this in writing.
  2. Ask for an occupational health assessment of your role. This could help to identify changes that might make your job safer.

If you tell your employer that you’d like PPE to improve your safety at work but they fail to act or ignore your request, they could be found liable for any subsequent injuries enabling you to begin a PPE compensation claim.

What Evidence Can Be Used for PPE Compensation Claims?

If you’re to receive compensation for PPE-related injuries at work, you’ll need to prove how and why you were injured, you’ll also need to show any impact your injuries have had on your life.

In PPE claims, the types of evidence that could be used to strengthen your claim include:

  • A photograph or video of the accident scene. Also, pictures of any defective or unsuitable PPE would be advantageous.
  • Witness statements from your colleagues.
  • Medical notes from a hospital or your GP to prove your injuries.
  • A copy of an accident report form linked to the incident in which you were injured.
  • Any emails or correspondence you’ve had from your employer if you raised concerns about your working environment.

If your PPE compensation claim is accepted by one of our work injury solicitors, they may collect further evidence to help prove your case. For instance, they may ask your employer for a copy of your training records to prove you were shown how to use the PPE correctly.

How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation for Inadequate PPE at Work?

As per the rules of the Limitation Act 1980, you’ll have 3 years to make a personal injury claim against your employer. Generally, you’ll need to start your claim within 3 years of the accident in which you were injured. However, it is also possible that your 3 years will begin from the date when your injuries or condition were diagnosed by a medical professional. This is particularly relevant in industrial disease claims that manifest symptoms or are identified at a later date.

In some circumstances, the time limit may be effectively paused altogether. For instance, if the claimant has lost the mental capacity to cope with the claims process due to a severe illness there might be no time limit unless they regain their mental capacity.

In our experience, starting the claims process as soon as you’re able to is beneficial as it takes some time for your case to be prepared and evidence to be gathered.

Therefore, if you’ve been injured at work because of unfit or missing PPE, speak to one of our legal advisors to see if you can sue your employer for compensation.

health and safety at work PPE background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for inadequate PPE at work with our complimentary free consultation.

With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, giving claimants a risk-free way to pursue the compensation they deserve.

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Call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a legal advisor.

How Is Compensation Calculated for Inadequate PPE Claims?

Compensation for inadequate PPE claims is calculated based on several factors, aiming to cover both the physical and emotional impacts of the injury (general damages), as well as any financial losses incurred (special damages) as a result. Here are the key components considered when determining compensation

To calculate compensation for general damages, your solicitor will request copies of your medical records from a hospital or the GP who treated you. Additionally, they are likely to arrange a medical assessment so that an independent expert can examine you and discuss how you have suffered because of your injuries.

The report that follows your appointment will be made available to all parties involved in your PPE claim. It will help to value your injuries if your claim is successful.

Special damages can cover losses such as:

  • Medical costs.
  • Lost income (future losses could also be considered).
  • Home adaptations to improve your quality of life.
  • The cost of nursing or care at home.
  • Travel expenses.

If you’d like to know how much compensation you might be entitled to claim for PPE-related injuries, please get in touch.

Can I Claim PPE Compensation if I’m Not Employed Full-Time?

Whatever type of employment contract you have, your employer has a legal duty of care towards your well-being. As such, any type of employee could claim for PPE injuries caused by their employer’s negligence.

That covers contractors, agency staff, consultants, the self-employed and zero-hours workers.

If you’d like more information about your options, please call one of our legal advisors now.

Will I Need a Solicitor to Make a PPE Compensation Claim?

There’s no legal obligation to contact a solicitor when claiming compensation from an employer. However, if you handle the claim alone, it can become quite complex and sometimes stressful.

Having a legal specialist working for you not only means PPE claims should be filed correctly, but it could also increase the likelihood of you being compensated correctly.

If you decide to make a PPE claim with one of our accident-at-work solicitors, some of the services they could provide include:

  • Management of your claim from start to finish.
  • Finding evidence needed to prove your case.
  • Dealing with any objections regarding liability raised by your employer’s insurers.
  • Sending regular updates so you know how things are progressing.
  • Aiming to ensure that you receive the correct amount of compensation to cover your suffering.

Our solicitors use a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) when taking on PPE claims so that they can provide a No Win, No Fee service. This means that you:

  • Are not asked to pay your solicitor for their work upfront.
  • Won’t pay for your solicitor’s work if the claim fails.
  • Will have a success fee deducted from any settlement you receive.

Legally, the maximum percentage of your settlement that can be used as a success fee is 25 per cent when a CFA is used. That means you’ll keep hold of most of the compensation awarded in a successful PPE claim.

To see if you could claim for PPE-related injuries on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call today.

Do PPE Claims to Go to Court?

Generally, PPE claims against employers don’t go to court because both parties will try to settle amicably. That’s because out-of-court settlements are usually much quicker and less expensive to deal with.

That said, if your solicitor thinks you have a valid case but your employer won’t agree to settle for a fair amount of compensation, they could arrange a court hearing as a last resort.

Contacting Us About a Personal Protective Equipment Claim

If you’d like to check if you have a valid personal protective equipment compensation claim, you can:

  • Call our team on 0333 241 2519 now.
  • Connect to our free live chat service.

If you get in touch, we’ll conduct a completely free and no-obligation assessment of your case. While you don’t have to take legal action after your call, it’s worth noting that all PPE claims taken on by our solicitors will proceed on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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