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Can I Claim Compensation if an Employer Did Not Provide Personal Protective Equipment?

Employers must provide you with the correct personal protective equipment to suit the type of work you carry out on a daily basis. This equipment helps ensure you are kept safe from harm and injury in the workplace and includes work wear like gloves, goggles, high-visibility clothing and other items of clothing and equipment. Should your employer fail to provide the necessary PPE and you suffer an injury or develop a health issue, you could be entitled to file an accident at work claim against them and be awarded the level of compensation you deserve for all the pain and suffering as well as out of pocket expenses you incurred due to employer negligence.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What is the Law Relating to Personal Protection Equipment?

The law requires that all employers abide by the following regulations:

  • The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002
  • The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulation 1992 (including amendments)

Employers must provide the correct protective wear and equipment to all employees who work with hazardous chemicals and who work in more dangerous environments handling hazardous material which includes the following:

  • Lead
  • Asbestos
  • Noise
  • Radiation

What is PPE so Important?

Employers have a duty to make sure the workplace is safe for their employees which includes providing the following:

  • Adequate instructions to carry out a job
  • Correct procedures on how to carry out tasks
  • Adequate training to suit a job
  • The right level of supervision at all times

Your employer must also ensure that a working environment is as safe as possible which includes making sure that the right protective equipment and wear is made available and this includes reducing the risk of being injured by providing the correct PPE even when measures have been set in place. This includes the following:

  • Breathing in contaminated air which could negatively impact your lungs
  • Suffering head and foot injuries from objects/materials falling from heights
  • Sustaining eye injuries from splashes of dangerous/corrosive liquids or particles that fly through the air
  • Suffering skin injuries/complaints from coming into contact with hazardous/corrosive materials and liquids
  • Suffering injuries to the body from extreme temperatures whether hot or cold

When an employer fails to provide the correct PPE or fails to maintain the equipment and work wear in good condition, it puts you at risk of suffering an injury in the workplace. Employers who are negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm at work, may be ruled liable should you wish to file an accident at work claim against them.

What Training Do Employers Have to Provide?

Employers must ensure that all employees are correctly trained to carry out the jobs they are tasked to carry out during the course of their working day or night. Employees must be provided with the following even if the correct measures are set in place to reduce the risk of being injured or developing a work-related health issue:

  • The correct training where specialist equipment is used in the workplace
  • Training to recognise and detect faults and to report these accordingly

Your employer must provide protective wear and equipment that meet the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 and which are CE marked. The must also do the following:

  • Select the correct equipment to suit a job and the user, examples being the correct size which means allowing an employee to choose it
  • To train employees on how to use their protective wear an example being on how to take off gloves without causing any skin injuries
  • To never allow any exceptions to when and where PPE should be worn an example being when a job would only take a couple of minutes to do
  • That PPE is correctly maintained and looked after which includes being stored properly so that is in good condition
  • That employees use PPE correctly and that they report any damage, loss or destruction when necessary
  • To make sure that the correct replacement parts are used when necessary
  • To ensure employees know who is responsible for the maintenance of all PPE that is used in the workplace
  • To ensure that the necessary disposable wear is available to employees as well as visitors to a workplace/work site

It is worth noting that employers must ensure that when employees have to wear more than one protective wear item, that they can be worn together without any issues or without putting workers at risk of suffering any sort of injury. This includes when wearing safety goggles and breathing equipment. Employers must also ensure that the correct equipment is available in the case of an emergency which includes breathing apparatus, safety ropes, safety harnesses and respirators.

What is the Time Limit Associated With Filing a Claim Against My Employer?

The statutory time limit for accident at work claims is 3 years from the date of a work-related accident that left you injured or 3 years from the date you were diagnosed as suffering from a work-related health issue or medical condition. Relevant accident at work time limits are detailed below:

  • 3 years from the death of a member of your family due to employer negligence in not providing adequate personal protective equipment
  • 3 years from the date you were first aware of a health issue or medical condition you developed in the workplace because an employer failed to provide the correct or adequate PPE

Because there is a statutory limit of 3 years attached to accident at work claims, seeking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in this type of claim is essential. It means you stand a much better chance of filing a successful claim against a negligent employer and being awarded the level of compensation to suit your injuries and out-of-pocket expenses.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

What Are My Rights Following an Accident at Work?

When you have an accident at work that leaves injured because you were not provided with the correct PPE to suit the job you were tasked to do, you have certain rights which an employer must recognise and abide by. These are as follows:

  • Your job is safe even if following an accident at work that left you injured through no fault of your own, you decide to file for compensation against your employer
  • You receive an amount in compensation to cover your out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering that are a direct result of having been injured in the workplace because your employer failed to provide adequate PPE

Your employer’s duty of care towards you must include the following which are legal requirements:

  • That you are provided with adequate PPE to suit the job you are tasked to do
  • To carry out regular risk assessments in the workplace and to set in place measures that minimise any risks to employees

Should your employer ignore health and safety executive regulations or fail to provide the correct PPE for the job you do and you suffer an accident at work that leaves you injured, you would have every right to file for compensation.

What to Do If You Suffer an Injury or Develop an illness Due to Employer Negligence

There is a procedure that must be followed should you be involved in an accident at work that left you injured because you were not given the correct protective wear to carry out the job. First and foremost, you should seek medical attention for your injuries. Other steps that must be taken following an incident in the workplace should include the following, even if at first, you have not decided to file an accident at work claim against your employer:

  • Make sure the incident is reported to the person in charge or your employer
  • Make sure the accident is recorded in the Accident Report Book and failing this, make sure you write down all the details of the incident and send a copy to your employer, keeping a copy for your own records – you should be allowed to read the report even at a later date to make sure the details of the incident are correct
  • Take photos of where the accident occurred
  • Take photos of your injuries before you are treated
  • Get witness statements and their contact details
  • Obtain an official medical report of your injuries

All of the above is required to prove your claim and the more evidence and proof you can provide, the better your chances are of being awarded the accident at work compensation you deserve.

What Can I Include in My Claim?

Following a work-related accident that left you injured because your employer failed to provide adequate PPE for you to do a job safely, and you want to file for compensation due to employer negligence, it is best to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims. With this said, there are specific things that can be typically included in an accident at work claim. This ensures you are awarded the right level of compensation to suit your injuries and to cover the out-of-pocket expenses you incurred as a direct result. These are listed below:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

General damages cover the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical injuries that may prevent you from working
  • The mental anguish you had to endure
  • Loss of companionship you had to cope with
  • Loss of career
  • Difficulty finding another career

Special damages are awarded to cover the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses whether you go by bus, train, car or taxi
  • Loss of income including bonuses or other perks
  • Loss of future earnings because your injuries prevent you from working again
  • Care costs should you need to go into a care home or need daily assistance around the home

It is worth noting that every work-related personal injury claim is different and as such, the level of compensation you receive would be calculated on the severity and complexity of your injuries and how much your life and ability to work has been negatively impacted.

Would a Specialist Solicitor Agree to Work on a No Win No Fee Basis?

A lot of people who suffer injuries at work through no fault of their own decide not to file for compensation because of the cost. Legal representation can be expensive which can put you off making a claim even if you think your employer was negligent in their duty to keep you safe from harm in the workplace. However, these days many solicitors work with their clients on a No Win No Fee basis which means they agree to take on the risk of not being paid should your claim not be successful. The solicitor would enter into a CFA which is a Conditional Fee Agreement with you which is a legal document that sets out the Terms and Conditions of the contract.

It also sets out the percentage you would have to pay on a successful accident at work claim which is known as a “success fee”. The amount you would have to pay would be deducted directly from the amount of compensation you receive, whether awarded by a judge or as a settlement paid out by the insurers which is referred to as a “out of court settlement”.

The solicitor would typically assess your claim by offering an initial, no obligation consultation which is free of charge. Should the solicitor believe you have a strong case against a negligent employer, once the CFA is signed, they would begin working on your accident at work claim without requesting a retainer or upfront fee having entered into a No Win No Fee agreement with you at the outset.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Can I Still File a Claim if There is No Record of My Injury?

Employers are required under Health and Safety Executive regulations to keep records of all accidents, injuries, illnesses, diseases and other dangerous incidents that occur in the workplace. This regulation applies to all employers throughout the UK with one of the end goals being to identify dangers and hazards in the workplace which in turn makes an environment safer for employees to work in. Having a record of your accident at work and the injuries you sustained or the disease/illness you developed, is crucial when it comes to proving an accident at work claim.

With this said, if there is no record of your injury at work although your claim might be weaker than if there was an official report in an Accident Report Book, you still may be able to file a successful accident at work claim, providing there is other crucial evidence and proof of the incident that left you unable to work whether for a short or longer period of time.

What Is My Employer’s Legal Responsibility for Keeping an Accident Report Book?

As previously mentioned, employers and anyone else who controls business premises, must by law keep records of accidents and other incidents that result in injury, illness or disease in the workplace. Your employer is not legally required to keep an accident report book, but because doing so meets all the requirements laid out by the Data Protection Act, most employers use this method as a way of keeping records of incidents that leave employees injured or suffering from an illness/disease in the workplace.

Employers must also report all accidents that result in employee having to be off work for more than 7 consecutive days to RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013). This is a legal requirement that applies to all employers throughout the UK.

Will a Record in the Accident Report Book Strengthen My Claim?

Having a record of an accident at work that has been recorded in the Accident Report Book, does strengthen a personal injury claim against a negligent employer. The reasons being as follows:

  • It confirms an accident at work occurred
  • It confirms an injury/illness/disease
  • It establishes liability and negligence

The reason for all of the above is because the record clearly states the following:

  • When and where the accident at work occurred
  • Details of all the people who were involved in the accident
  • An brief account of how and why the incident occurred
  • An account of injuries/illness/disease sustained
  • An account of treatments offered

An accident at work must be recorded in the Accident Report Book at the time the incident occurred or as soon after as possible afterwards. An injured employee should be shown the report to confirm that was is recorded is correct if their injuries allow them to do so. Records of all incidents and accidents at work must by law be retained for 3 years which means that even if you do not immediately file an accident at work claim against a negligent employer, the record of the incident are available for this amount of time.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Are Accident Book Records Essential for Accident at Work Claims?

Because accidents at work claims can be hotly disputed, having a record of an accident that left you suffering from an illness, disease or injury, helps establish what happened and who could be held liable. With this said, if you believe no record exists of your accident at work, it is possible to confirm that a record was made by contacting the relevant third party. Should you discover that no record exists, you can make an official request to have the incident recorded which in itself, could be used as evidence when filing an accident at work claim.

What Other Proof and Evidence Can I Provide to Strengthen an Accident at Work Claim?

A court could rule that not having a record of an incident that left you injured at work, is negligent on the part of your employer in itself, unless the reason was valid. An example being that the injuries sustained were so severe, a record was not added to the Accident Report Book until much later. However, if there is no record of an accident at work that left you injured, a specialist solicitor would be able to use other proof and evidence to build your case against a negligent employer. The evidence that could be used would include the following:

  • Official medical report of your injuries
  • CCTV footage (if available)
  • Photos of your injuries
  • Photos of where the accident occurred
  • Witness statements

The more evidence of your accident at work and injuries you can provide, the better your chances of winning a your case, whether it goes before a judge or the insurers agree to settle out of court.

Does My Employer Have a Duty of Care Towards Me?

Employers have a duty of care to keep all their employees safe in the workplace which they are legally required to do. Should you suffer an injury, develop an illness or disease through employer negligence, you would have every right to file an accident at work claim against them. Employers must abide by Health and Safety Executive regulations and the law when it comes to keeping records of all accidents and incidents that occur in the workplace. They must report accidents that result in you have more than 7 days of work to RIDDOR which again, is a legal requirement.

If you believe your employer was negligent in any way when it comes to keeping you safe in the workplace but there is no record of the accident, you should seek legal advice because providing you can provide other proof that you were injured in the workplace, you could still be able to file for compensation.

Are There Certain Things I Can Include in My Accident at Work Claim?

When filing an accident at work claim, you can include the following:

  • General damages
  • Special damages

General damages covers the following:

  • The pain and suffering you endured as a direct result of being injured, suffered an illness or disease in the workplace
  • Any physical impairment you sustained
  • The mental and physical anguish you had to cope with following the incident
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of your career
  • Hardship finding alternative work

Special damages covers the following:

In a successful accident at work claim, the special damages you may be awarded could include the following:

  • Medical expenses which covers both in the short-term or if you need long-term ongoing treatment for the injuries, illness or disease you developed in the workplace. This also covers all your out of pocket expenses namely the cost of specialist consultations, prescriptions, medication, care/hospital stay and all the diagnostic tests needed during your recovery
  • Travel expenses which covers how you get to a hospital or other medical facility for necessary treatments whether you travel by taxi, car, bus or train
  • Loss of income during the period you are unable to work which includes all perks and bonuses you may have missed out on
  • Loss of future earnings if your injuries prevent you from working again

Not having a record of your injuries and the accident at work that caused them, does not mean you would not be able to claim compensation from a negligent employer. A personal injury solicitor would be able to assess the strength of your claim by using other evidence and proof that your injuries were due to an accident at work.

Do I Have Any Rights Following an Accident at Work?

Following an accident at work, you have certain rights which are detailed below:

  • That your job is safe even if you decide to file an accident at work claim against a negligent employer
  • That you receive an amount of compensation that suits the injury, illness or disease you developed in the workplace

Can an Employer Sack Me For Filing an Accident at Work Claim?

Your employer cannot by law, fire you because you decided to file a personal injury claim against them. By doing so, they could open the door to you being able to file a second claim namely for unfair dismissal. However, if your employer has a valid reason for firing you other than the fact you are seeking compensation from them, then they may be able to successfully show you the door without the worry of having to deal with a second claim against them.

Would My Accident at Work Claim Be Successful?

Providing you have other strong evidence to prove that you were involved in an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work whether for a short or much longer period of time, even if there is not record of the incident in an Accident Report Book, you still have a very good chance of winning your claim and being awarded a level of compensation you rightly deserve for the pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses you incurred through no fault of your own but rather through employer negligence.

Is it Worth Filing an Accident at Work Claim Against My Employer?

Even if there is no record of an accident at work that left you injured or suffering from a health issue, it is always worth discussing your case with a specialist personal injury solicitor. The reason being that you may have enough proof and evidence needed to file a successful claim bearing in mind that many work-related personal injury claims are settled by an employer’s insurers “out of court” and before the case is heard by a judge.

Employee Injury At Work Advice

Would a Solicitor Take on My Accident at Work Claim on a No Win No Fee Basis?

A solicitor who specialises in accident at work claims would typically offer an initial, no obligation consultation which is free of charge. This allows them to assess your case and to establish whether there is enough proof and evidence that the accident that left you injured or suffering from some kind of health issue occurred in the workplace and that it was due to employer negligence. Once this has been established, a solicitor would offer to work on your case on a No Win No Fee basis which means they can start working on your accident at work claim by gathering all the necessary evidence without having to request an upfront fee or retained.

You would sign a contract known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which is a legal agreement between you and the firm of solicitors. Not having to find the money to pay for legal representation means you can concentrate on recovering without any financial worries of how you would pay your solicitor. The CFA you sign sets out the amount you would have to pay but only on a successful accident at work claim which is referred to as a “success fee”. This is an agreed percentage of the amount you are awarded either by a judge or by your employer’s insurers should they decide to offer you a final settlement before your case gets to court.

If you do not win your accident at work claim, you would have nothing to pay for the legal representation you received because in signing a Conditional Fee Agreement, the solicitor you worked with would have agreed to take on all the “risks” involved in filing a work-related injury claim. It is also worth noting that the “success fee” you do pay on a successful accident at work claim, would be deducted directly from the amount of compensation you receive.