PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Injury Claims Solicitors
If you have suffered an accident or been injured at work because your employer has failed in their duty to supply you with the correct PPE and training, you may have good cause to make a claim against them.
Not every workplace is completely safe – but every employer is obligated by law to take every possible care and precaution with the safety of their employees. If you work in a job that presents a potential risk to your health or safety, your employer must ensure that you are given adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) and training. If you believe that your injury has been caused by unsafe working practices or negligence on your employer’s part, then you need to talk to us. Sheldon Davidson Solicitors have pursued claims on behalf of many clients, so we understand the challenges that you are facing. Apart from the physical injury you may be suffering from, you may also find yourself unable to work for a period of time, leaving you financially disadvantaged.
Making a claim for compensation can go some way towards helping you get back to normal, as far as is possible. But making a claim can also often benefit others by shining a light on unsafe work practices, so that changes can be made, and similar mistakes avoided.
What is PPE?
PPE (personal protective equipment) is equipment provided to an employee to mitigate any dangers present in the workplace. It can include hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, masks and high-visibility clothing. It should also be:
- fit for purpose
- maintained and stored correctly
- provided with instructions on how to use it correctly.
What PPE are employers required to provide?
Employers are required to provide any equipment that reduces the risk of the particular environment their employees are working in. For example, in a dusty environment, you will need to be provided with a disposable dust mask. In a loud environment, employers will need to provide ear protection.
Making a claim over inadequate PPE
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 states that “employers should provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training in its usage to their employees wherever there is a risk to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled by other means.”
The PPE should be provided free of charge and be readily available to employees as they need it. If this has not been the case and you have been injured as a result of a breach of these regulations, then you may be able to make a claim.
What can I make a claim for?
An accident at work may leave you in pain, facing a long-term disability and possibly traumatised by what has happened to you. You may also have incurred medical expenses and have lost income as a result of your accident or injury. If this is the case, you may be able to make a claim for general damages. The purpose of this is to restore you to your pre-accident situation by compensating you financially for pain, suffering and any loss of amenity, or impact on your quality of life. It is a sad fact that not all damage can be undone, but if you find yourself having to pay for medical costs or other expenses as a direct result of your condition, which was caused by inadequate PPE, it is not fair that you should have to shoulder the financial burden alone.
In addition to financial recompense, if you choose to make a claim, you will also be changing things for others in your situation – knowing that laws on PPE are enforceable and that failure to adequately protect employees has consequences is a huge deterrent against any future negligence.
What constitutes inadequate PPE?
Inadequate PPE is equipment that is:
- in poor condition, or does not provide adequate protection
- not appropriate for the particular hazard that you are facing
- badly fitting or doesn’t function effectively alongside other items of PPE that must also be worn.
A failure to provide PPE at all would also be classed as inadequate.
What type of injuries are caused by faulty or inadequate PPE?
There are a multitude of injuries and health conditions that can occur if you are not provided with adequate PPE.
Some of the most common are:
- fractured or broken bones
- sight loss or blindness
- industrial deafness
- lung conditions or occupational asthma.
The provision of inadequate PPE has been much discussed in the media since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and has highlighted the great importance of adequate PPE protection. Frontline workers, particularly those working in healthcare and public transport have often found that there has not been sufficient PPE provided to them to do their job safely. Shortages of gowns, masks and other equipment have left many workers with impossible choices to make, and disproportionally high numbers of workers have faced illness and death as a result.
What do I need to make a claim for inadequate PPE?
Employers have legal duties to their employees, which mean that they are obligated to keep them as safe as reasonably possible. Health and safety regulations should be strictly observed.
To bring a personal injury claim, it is necessary to prove that:
- your employer owed you a duty of care, and that they failed in that duty
- their failure caused your injury
- the injuries or losses that you are claiming for are reasonable.
Specifically, in relation to PPE, employers are required by The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 to:
- conduct a full risk assessment and to supply the appropriate PPE to protect against any hazards that are present
- ensure that PPE is suitable and properly maintained
- monitor the use and maintenance of PPE
- display safety signs so that workers are fully aware of when and where PPE must be worn
- make sure that workers are trained in the correct use of PPE and are aware of their responsibilities.
The onus is on employers to try to control the risks as far as possible; PPE should only be provided as an option when every attempt has been made to remove any hazards by other means. If your employer has failed in their duty of care and you have suffered an injury as a result, it is likely that you have very good grounds for making a claim.
Is there a time limit on making a claim?
As with most other personal injury claims, generally speaking there is a 3 year limit to make a claim from the incident occurring or the onset of a condition caused by inadequate PPE.
This is not always straightforward with claims such as these however, as it may take a while for your condition to become apparent. For example, asthma or lung conditions caused by inadequate PPE will probably develop over time, rather than being pinpointed to a particular date or incident. If this is the case, it is usual for the clock to start ticking from the time that you are diagnosed with a condition.
If you are in any doubt about your eligibility or are concerned about time limits, please contact us as soon as you possibly can. The earlier you instruct us, the sooner we can act.
Why choose Sheldon Davidson Solicitors?
As specialist personal injury solicitors, we have been handling personal injury claims, accident compensation and medical negligence claims for over twenty years. Our expertise in this area allows us to guide with compassion victims of negligence through this often complex area of the law.
Choosing a specialist personal injury solicitor for a claim like this is vital; claims concerning inadequate PPE can be complicated, but Sheldon Davidson Solicitors have the knowledge, experience and a track record you can count on.
Our extensive experience and network of specialists, including physiotherapists, medical experts and counsellors, means that we know how to ensure that you receive the treatment that you need to aid you on the road to recovery. We recruit the best legal talent from across the country and we are dedicated to helping you to get the justice that you deserve.
Speak to us today to discuss your case – we will quickly assess your circumstances and give you the best advice on how to proceed.
We are passionate about helping clients to seek appropriate justice and recompense, and our track record speaks for itself.
Based in the North West, we work with clients across England and Wales, and we can offer you an initial consultation and a no win, no fee service if we think that you have good grounds for a case.
Our experienced PPE Claims Solicitors act regularly for clients across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham, and Whitefield.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a Lexcel accredited law firm. The Lexcel standard is only awarded by the Law Society to firms who meet the highest standards of practice management and customer service.
With our accomplished team of personal injury solicitors in Manchester on your side, you can be confident that your claim for compensation due to inadequate PPE at work is in safe hands.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.