Lack of Personal Protective Clothing Compensation Claims Explained

Ian Lewis[1]

Ian Lewis

Money Savings Advice Lack of PPE compensation claims

If you have been injured due to a lack of personal protective clothing in the workplace, then you may be entitled to compensation. The provision of such equipment is a central element of the duty of care that all employers have towards their employees.

Forcing employees to work without the relevant protective equipment is both illegal and dangerous. If you have suffered an injury as a consequence of a lack of/substandard PPE, then you need to take advice as soon as possible.

In recent months the supply of PPE and other safety equipment has been headline news in light of the coronavirus pandemic. This has placed a useful focus on the subject of safety equipment in the workplace and the duty of care afforded to employers.

Failure to provide the relevant safety equipment/garments can strengthen claims of negligence and leave employers exposed to compensation claims.

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Is My Employer Legally Obliged to Provide Personal Protective Clothing?

Yes – to put it bluntly. Under various Acts of Parliament such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 all employers are legally obliged to provide personal protective clothing. The physical and mental health of employees must be paramount in the minds of employers; otherwise, they may leave themselves open to accusations of negligence.

What Are the More Common Injuries Associated With a Lack of Personal Protective Clothing?

Unfortunately, there are many common scenarios where a lack of personal protective clothing/equipment can lead to serious injuries. These include:-

  • Head injuries due to a lack of hardhat protection
  • Lacerations to the hands and fingers where gloves have not been provided
  • Crush injuries to the feet and toes where protective boots were not available
  • Chemical burns due to a lack of protective clothing
  • Skin irritations/respiratory issues when handling chemicals without PPE

It is not difficult to see how many of the above scenarios could lead to a serious/fatal injury. It is therefore vitally important that employers provide personal protective clothing and other forms of safety equipment as standard.

How Often Should Personal Protective Clothing Be Replaced?

While many businesses operate under intense financial pressures, there is no scope to cut corners when it comes to providing and replacing personal protective clothing. Once a garment is not fit for purpose, then it should be replaced immediately.

No ifs, no buts it needs to be replaced in order to provide the highest level of protection. Failure to do so could lead to accusations of negligence and leave the employer exposed to potential compensation payments.

Should My Employer Be Carrying Out Risk Assessments?

It is a legal obligation of all employers to carry out regular risk assessments to identify potential dangers and address any issues. These assessments should be carried out on a regular basis and documented accordingly.

There will be occasions where there is an inherent degree of risk with a particular activity, but this risk must be mitigated as much as possible. In some cases, this may involve investment in additional protective clothing/equipment or a change to the working procedure.

Can My Employer Force Me to Pay for Personal Protective Clothing?

No. It is a legal obligation of your employer to provide personal protective clothing to an acceptable level. There may be occasions where individual employees might prefer further protection above and beyond the “acceptable level”.

Legally your employer is not obliged to pay for additional equipment, but they may well give it serious consideration. The health and safety, not to mention the moral, of the workforce is integral to the long term success of any business.

If a relatively modest additional investment was to assist with productivity and morale, then it may be an investment worth making.

How Can I Pursue a Compensation Claim Against My Employer?

In order to pursue a compensation claim, you will first need to prove negligence that led to your injuries. Therefore you will need to collate as much evidence as possible which might include:-

  • Witness statements
  • Photographic evidence
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Medical records
  • Evidence of similar historical accidents
  • Timeline of events

Once you have put together your evidence, it is time to approach a claims management company to review your case.

How Do I Appoint a Claims Management Company?

When approaching a claims management company, they will review your evidence and give an independent analysis of your chances of success. Where they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of succeeding with your claim, they will likely look to take on your case.

The majority of claims management companies will offer a “no win no fee” arrangement which effectively removes your liability to cover their case costs if unsuccessful.

What Are the Benefits of a “No Win No Fee” Arrangement?

The main benefit of a “no win no fee” arrangement is the removal of your liability to costs incurred by your claims management company when pursuing your case. In reality, even individuals who have funds available from their own resources may be reluctant to proceed because there is no guarantee of success.

The “no win no fee” route spreads this risk and ensures that potentially negligent parties are held to account. We can only estimate the number of perfectly legitimate compensation claims which have not been pursued because of the potential costs.

Will I Need to Appear in Court?

Where there is strong evidence of negligence, it is highly likely that the defendant would seek an out-of-court settlement to reduce their expenses/legal fees. There will be scenarios where negligence is refuted, and the case will go before the courts. In this scenario, you may well be called to give evidence but remember you are not on trial.

What Kind of Compensation Can I Expect?

The level of compensation will depend upon the specific injuries and their long-term consequences. However, you will come across two different types of compensation which are referred to as general damages and special damages.

General damages relate to financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Special damages relate to expenses already incurred as a consequence of your injuries, future funding requirements and other issues such as loss of earnings.

Summary

The provision of personal protective clothing/safety equipment is essential, and failure to provide such equipment could see your employer in serious trouble. There are numerous acts of parliament that offer varying degrees of protection to employees.

However, all employers have a basic duty of care to their employees with regards to their physical and mental well-being. Failure to fulfil this duty of care could lead to serious financial consequences.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making an Industrial illness Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Industrial illness Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries & illnesses they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis

Ian Lewis is one of our specialist financial writers. Ian has over 15 years of financial writing experience, having worked for some of the largest financial publications in the UK covering topics from mortgages, equity release, loans and financial claims, to name a few.

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