Injuries Caused Through a Lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
One of the key health and safety principles is to make sure that the workplace is safe and secure for workers to carry out their everyday activities.
However, sometimes it may be the case that even in the most secure and controlled working environment, risks and hazards may remain. These risks and hazards can cause injury and serious harm to individuals and in these cases, it may be the case that PPE is needed to reduce the risk.
Definition of PPE
PPE stands for personal protective equipment and refers to equipment that is used to protect individuals from hazards and risk at work.
PPE includes but is not limited to:
- High visibility clothing
- Hard hats
- Safety Helmets
- Goggles and safety glasses
- Safety footwear
- Hand protection
- Face masks
- Ear defenders
- Breathing apparatus
Main Causes of PPE Injuries
Typically, the main cause of accidents which relate to PPE is either that of appropriate equipment not being provided or made available to employees or that of appropriate and adequate training not being given to employees to ensure the correct usage of equipment.
Whilst the onus is on employers to ensure that their employees have a safe workplace that protects their personal safety, this does not mean that employees are without responsibility or duty.
There is an expectation that employees will:
- Take reasonable care of their own health safety
- Co-operate with their employer including following any policies put in place
- Not interfere with or misuse any protective equipment that has been provided
Employees, as outlined above have a general legal responsibility to take reasonable care of theirs and others health and safety and to co-operate with employers policies and practices. Employers, however, have a far more specific responsibility under the “Personal Protective Equipment at Work” regulations (1992, amended in 2002).
These regulations require that PPE is used as a last resort in circumstances where hazards and risks still exist after the normal health and safety measures have already been taken. There are three main areas which outline the main employers responsibilities:
Ensure that PPE is assessed and fit for purpose prior to use
Prior to use, there should be a process whereby careful consideration is given to the choice of equipment to be used when performing certain tasks. Issues to consider include:
- Who is using the equipment and what health and safety risks might they be exposed to
- How long will they be exposed to these risks
- How much of the risk are they exposed to
Equipment should be chosen not only on the basis of the task in hand but also taking into consideration the users. Therefore, the size, weight and the fit of the PPE is an important consideration. Equally, if equipment is to be used together, it’s important to check they are compatible.
Products should also be chosen in line with the regulations. Suppliers should be able to advise you as to which products comply.
Adequate training must be provided with regards to usage
Choosing the equipment is just the first step towards being compliant with the regulations. Once the equipment is chosen, it is equally as important to ensure that all staff are adequately and appropriately trained to use the equipment.
Adequate and appropriate training help safeguard against misuse which could lead to personal injury should the situation arise.
PPE equipment must be maintained and stored properly
It is vital that where equipment is reusable, that it is maintained and stored properly. Failure to do so could result in defects to equipment and increase exposure to risk which the equipment was meant to protect against. This could lead to personal injury.
Responsibility should be assigned to an individual or group of individuals for the maintenance and safe storage of PPE as well as ensuring that there is a ready supply available as and when required. Regular checks should be carried out to ensure equipment is fit and appropriate for use.
Can I Make an Injury Claim?
Employers have a duty to enforce the Personal Protective Equipment at Work regulations to ensure that employees and others are protected from potential health and safety risks.
If an employer has not acted in line with those duties and as a result, personal injury has occurred then you can make a claim.
How Can Injury Lawyers UK Help You?
At Injury Lawyers UK, we have a team of qualified, highly experienced and professional personal injury lawyers on hand. We have over 20 years of experience in making successful claims so you can be sure that using us will give you the best chance of winning your claim.
Our lawyers all work on a no win, no fee basis meaning that there is never any risk of cost to you. We work on your behalf to ensure you get the maximum award possible leaving you to focus on what’s most important, your recovery.
Whilst some lawyers may speak in legal jargon, ours don’t. We speak in plain English and ensure that you are kept well informed and updated throughout the entire process. This means you will always know where your claim is at and never have to waste precious recovery time chasing us up.
We know that personal injury is a traumatic experience and the last thing you want is the stress and hassle of making a legal claim. Therefore, we can take the stress away and handle the claim on your behalf. If the claim involves your current employer then don’t worry- we handle these issues sensitively and in the majority of cases, the employer is more than happy to deal with us.
Do you think you might be eligible for a compensation claim and need some more information? Start by getting in touch by either calling us on 0800 1123 156, texting “CONTACT” to 80011 or by completing our quick online claim form and speak to one of our qualified and experienced lawyers today.