If you are working in a hazardous or potentially hazardous job, then you need to ensure you are wearing the appropriate protective equipment while you are working.
For example, builders will often wear face masks, goggles, hard hats and gloves. Someone working at height will connect themselves to harness. A person working by the roadside will have a high visibility jacket.
Personal protective equipment or PPE is essential in many industries and sectors. If you are not wearing it, you can be more at risk of significant injury such as burns, loss of sight, loss of hearing in high noise areas, as well as broken limbs and soft tissue injuries.
Most industries will have different safety rules that workers need to abide by. A business will stipulate that certain PPE needs to be worn when undertaking a certain task in the workplace. For example, if you are operating machinery like a jackhammer, you will probably be told to wear ear protectors at all times when using it or working in close proximity.
How Does PPE Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?
There are a number of situations where PPE can have an influence on a personal injury claim:
- If the protective equipment you were using was damaged or inadequate, it can have a direct impact on the level of your injury.
- If the equipment is unsuitable for the job that you are doing it can also affect your injury. An example of this would be protective glasses that don’t have any side protection or a face mask that isn’t able to filter out fine dust particles.
- Protective equipment can also be a bad fit. If you a hard hat that is too big or a set of overalls that are too small and hamper your movement, these are examples where a bad fit can contribute to an accident or injury.
Your employer is essentially tasked by law to ensure that all PPE is both fit for purpose and suitable for the job that is being undertaken. They should also provide appropriate training to ensure that you know how to properly use the equipment and understand when it should be worn.
Here are few examples:
- If you are tasked with working in an area where there is a large amount of dust, your employer should make sure that you are wearing the appropriate face mask to protect you lungs so that you don’t inhale potentially dangerous particles.
- If you are working in a high traffic area such as the roadside at night, your employer should ensure that the area is appropriately signed for passing drivers and well lit. You should also be wearing a high visibility jacket.
If you have suffered an injury at work and lack of the appropriate PPE played a role, you can make a claim for compensation against your employer. PPE may not be the only reason why the injury occurred, but it could mean that your injury was worse because you weren’t protected.
It’s important to sit down with an experienced personal injury solicitor, like the team at Accinet, who can discuss ion full what has happened to you and give you the best advice regarding a case for compensation.