If you’ve been injured at work because of defective or incorrect personal protective equipment, or PPE as it’s commonly known, you might have a PPE claim for compensation. In this guide to PPE claims, we’ll look at when you could be eligible to claim compensation and explain how the claims process works.
To help you decide whether you have a valid PPE compensation claim, we offer a no-obligation telephone assessment of your case. During the call, we’ll provide free legal advice and you could be connected with one of our personal injury solicitors. If they conclude there’s a case to be answered, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis meaning you won’t have to cover the cost of your solicitor’s work unless you are awarded compensation.
To see if a solicitor could help you claim compensation for an injury at work due to inadequate personal protective equipment, please call today on 0800 6524 881. To learn more about PPE compensation claims before calling, please read on.
Table of contents
- The Law On Personal Protective Equipment In The Workplace
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For An Injury Due To Inadequate PPE?
- Injuries Leading To PPE Compensation Claims
- How Much Compensation For Inadequate PPE Could I Claim?
- Evidence To Support A PPE Compensation Claim
- PPE Claims Time Limits
- Why Make A PPE Compensation Claim Using A Personal Injury Solicitor?
In PPE claims, the most important piece of legislation is the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. According to this law, employers should only use PPE as a last resort. Before it is considered, they must look at other ways of removing risks. If no alternatives can be found, your employer must ensure that any PPE is:
- Paid for and provided by your employer.
- Maintained properly and stored correctly to avoid damage.
- Suitable for the task at hand. This means it must fit you properly, meet safety standards and protect you from the risks involved.
- Compatible with other safety equipment if required.
- Properly used. This means staff must be trained properly on how to use the item of PPE.
Examples of PPE that your employer might need to provide include:
- Hard hats or helmets.
- Eye protection (goggles, glasses, visors etc).
- Protective clothing.
- Protective footwear including steel toe capped boots.
- Safety harnesses.
Essentially, the law defines PPE as any equipment that is intended to be held or worn by a worker to protect them against one or more health and safety risks.
If you decide to make a PPE accident at work claim with one of our solicitors, they’ll review your chances of being compensated before taking your claim on. The main criteria they’ll check include whether:
- Your employer breached their duty of care towards you by not providing adequate personal protective equipment; which
- Caused an accident to happen; and
- You were injured as a result.
Another piece of legislation that might apply to PPE compensation claims is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Your solicitor will verify which law applies if you decide to proceed with a PPE compensation claim. Next, we’ll look at what evidence you could supply to help prove points 2 and 3 in the list above.
Let’s take a look at some examples of injuries that could lead to PPE compensation claims. They include:
- Where your eyes were burned by chemicals because you were not given protective goggles.
- If your toes were crushed because of a lack of steel toe-capped boots.
- Where a heavy item fell from scaffolding and you suffered a fractured skull in a building site accident because you were asked to work without critical equipment being made available.
- If you’re suffering from dermatitis because your employer provided you with poor quality PPE such as gloves not appropriate for working with chemicals or other toxic substances.
- If you suffered broken bones in your legs after falling from height at work because a harness wasn’t provided by your employer.
Don’t worry if you can’t see an example that matches yours in our list, we could still help you to make a PPE claim. Please get in touch and let us know about your accident and we’ll review your case for free.
Every PPE claim is unique so it’s not possible to say exactly how much compensation you might be awarded but, generally, compensation could be claimed for both general and special damages. This could include:
- Pain and suffering including psychological injuries.
- Lost earnings.
- Future lost earnings for longer-term injuries.
- Care costs.
- Medical expenses.
- Travel expenses.
- The cost of replacing personal property damaged in the accident.
- The cost of making changes to your home if they’ll help you deal with any disability caused by your accident.
To help prove the extent of your injuries, you will typically need a medical assessment as part of your claim. This can usually be booked at a local venue with an independent medical expert. They’ll write a report following the appointment to list your injuries and explain your prognosis.
Most PPE compensation claims won’t be dealt with by your employer directly. It’s more likely that they’ll ask their insurance provider to deal with everything. Therefore, you will only be compensated if you can prove why your employer was responsible for your accident and how you suffered as a result. You could do this by supplying any of the following pieces of evidence:
- Photographs. If you were given PPE that didn’t protect you adequately, taking photographs of it could be useful if you decide to claim. Furthermore, pictures of the accident scene could help to show how the accident happened.
- Accident report forms. Your employer will need to keep an accident logbook (or similar). Therefore, you should report the accident at work and ask for a copy of their report. This will make it easier to prove when and where the accident occurred.
- Medical evidence. You should ensure your injuries are treated properly by attending A&E or a minor injuries unit. If you do start a PPE compensation claim, your medical records could be requested and used to show the extent of your injuries.
- Witness details. There’s no need to ask witnesses to your accident for a statement but you should provide their contact details to your solicitor. They may contact them at a later date if necessary.
- CCTV footage. If your workplace has security cameras, you’re within your rights to ask for a copy of any footage of your accident. Don’t delay here, though, as recordings aren’t usually kept for long.
We also recommend that you write down as much as you can about the accident while it’s still fresh in your mind. This could include the dates that your injuries prevented you from working, when you couldn’t attend family events and any costs you’ve incurred because of your injuries.
As with any other type of personal injury claim, you’ll need to start a PPE claim within 3-years of the accident at work (or from when your injuries were diagnosed). Rather than waiting too long, we’d suggest starting the PPE claims process as soon as you can.
By starting your claim early, you should give your solicitor plenty of time to collect the evidence needed to support your claim. Additionally, there’s a chance they could ask your employer to pay for private medical treatment before your claim is finalised if that will help with your recovery.
In some cases, you could be compensated in around 6 to 9 months if you have already recovered and your employer accepts liability for your injuries. In other cases, where further negotiation is required, claims can take more than a year.
You needn’t worry about claiming against your employer as it’s against the law for them to discipline you if you make an honest claim. That means you could start a constructive or unfair dismissal case if you have been fired, demoted, singled out or barred from promotion because of your PPE claim.
Unless you are conversant with the law and have had experience with fighting any case in court, it is always advisable to get professional legal help when you want to file a work accident claim for any type of injury. Personal injury law is complicated and winning a claim without legal help can be extremely complicated and time-consuming. You have to remember that you will be fighting against experienced lawyers who do this every day.
Your best chance of winning a PPE compensation claim (in our opinion) is by using an experienced personal injury solicitor to represent you.
If you or a loved one have been injured because of a lack of personal protective equipment, please get in touch to see if we could help you start the PPE claims process. Our advisors can be reached on 0800 6524 881.
During your call, you’ll receive free legal advice about your options and we could appoint a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor from our team. If they agree to represent you, they’ll only be paid a success fee if you are compensated. You won’t have to pay this fee if the case fails.
If you have any further questions on PPE compensation claims, please use live chat to get in touch.