Defective Work Equipment Compensation Claims


Any person who is injured as a result of defective equipment whilst at work is entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. Here we look at what ‘defective’ means and how to prove your employer is responsible for the accident.

Table of contents:

The definition of work equipment

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines work equipment as any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work. This includes equipment which employees provide for their own use at work, and any equipment used off-site. The ‘use’ part means any activity involving work equipment and includes starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning.

The definition of ‘defective’ equipment is simpler – it just doesn’t work as it’s supposed to.

When can you claim compensation for defective equipment injuries?

If the equipment you used was defective, and you were injured because of this, you are entitled to make a compensation claim. By law, employers have a responsibility to ensure that:

  • Equipment stays in good working order and repair
  • Faulty equipment is removed immediately until it has been repaired or replaced
  • Machinery is regularly inspected if it deteriorates over time
  • Employees are trained how to use equipment and are made explicitly aware of any dangers identified in risk assessments
  • Employees are protected against dangerous machine parts and protective equipment is provided if needed

Importantly, it does not need to be the employer’s fault that the equipment is defective, simply that it is defective.

There are many other rules set out by the HSE relating to work equipment and the obligations of employers. If you believe that your employer provided you with defective equipment and  this caused you to sustain an injury, you are welcome to contact us and we should be able to tell you if you have a valid claim.

Compensation amounts and reasons to claim

Defective work equipment can lead to serious injuries which often leave a person unable to work. Consequently, they may struggle to cope with a loss of income as well as their health. Claiming personal injury compensation can help in a number of ways:

  • It’s your legal right, and fairly compensates you for injuries that were not your fault.
  • It can pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.
  • It can make up for lost income now and in the future if you are prevented from working again.
  • In fatal accidents it can provide loved ones with some measure of compensation for their loss.

As all claims are made on a No Win No Fee basis, you will never be charged if your claim does not succeed. A successful claim will lead to a compensation settlement being made to you. The actual amount you receive is comprised of general and special damages. General relates to injury itself, its severity and impact on your life. Solicitors will follow guidelines issued by the courts which give an upper and lower figure for each injury. Special damages cover the financial costs incurred as a result of the accident – lost income, medical and travel expenses, for example.

Claiming compensation for injuries caused by defective work equipment can also help you in other ways. Once your claim is active and your specialist injury compensation solicitor has obtained an admission of liability, your claim will succeed. At this point, your solicitor will look to help you to recover more quickly by obtaining rehabilitation therapy such as physiotherapy, or private specialist treatments, at the expense of the 3rd party.

How Direct2Compensation can help with your claim

Direct2Compensation have handled many defective work equipment claims over the years. We know your rights and can help you to understand whether your employer can be held liable for your accident. We can also advise you on the claims process and what to expect from your specialist solicitor. Importantly, we can give you the confidence you need to pursue your claim.

As with all accidents at work, it is important to make sure that the details of your accident have been recorded properly within an employer’s accident book and that medical attention is sought for any injuries that you have sustained. If you haven’t done this already, we can help you to do so.

With our easy to understand claims process and ability to handle your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us the right choice. You can start your claim online or request a call back, and one of our expert team will be in touch to offer help. Alternatively, call us on 01225 430285.

27 questions have been answered below, why not ask your own?

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  1. I work in a pub restaurant as a cleaner and I work for a cleaning company who is contracted by pub company, my boss said he was going to supply a new Hoover as plug and cable was split, he brought a Hoover out that was disgusting and dirty had dead mice inside, he came out washed it out and said it is ok now, I was hoovering yesterday morning and it gave up, I’ve had a shock of it previously, I’ve noticed that there is no inspection done on this Hoover since may 2009 what are my rights on this he ignores my phone calls.

    • It would appear that your employer is playing hard and fast with your safety at work. All employers must ensure that electrical equipment is tested for safety on a regular (annual) basis. In your case, you should make a formal request for a new ‘safe’ vacuum cleaner and report the shocks you have had in writing. If your employer continues to ignore your request you could well make a claim for compensation.

      My concern at this stage is that you appear to have escaped injury in the shocks you have had to date? If you have had an electrical shock and are suffering with pins and needles or nerve damage, you could pursue a claim.

  2. There was a faulty electric pallet truck at work which had been reported for over 6 weeks. I have now injured my shoulder on this pallet and this was filmed on CCTV and seen by witnesses. I am now on sick leave and looking at 6 to 8 weeks off work. Could I claim for that?

    • The accident at work scenario you have described gives me an initial view that you have very strong grounds to pursue a claim for compensation against your employer. Given that a faulty item of equipment had been reported to them for a period as long as 6 weeks, means that the employer were on notice of a risk to health within the workplace. The employers failure to remove the faulty equipment or have it repaired is likely to be seen as employer negligence and lead to the employers insurance having to admit liability and compensate you for your injuries and all lost income or incurred costs caused by the injury.

      We would be very happy to pursue your claim for compensation and ensure that your claim is placed with the right specialist Solicitor to act for you on a No Win No Fee basis. Please use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website or call us on 01225430285 to start your claim for compensation.

  3. hi about a week ago at work i recieved an electric shock from a microwave mains cable that had been eaten through by rats exposing live cables a few days latter i collapsed whilst at work with breathing problems shakes and dizzyness and as a result had to go to hospital took some photos of the microwave and mains cable do i have grounds for a claim

    • Yes, you could pursue a claim here. Why not call us on 01225430285 so that we can help you start your claim for compensation?

  4. I was mixing a pastry mix in a bomber at work and opened the safety guard the mixer stopped I put my arm in to test the texture of the mix and the hook started moving and caught my arm it’s badly bruised and very sore I was lucky it stopped it could of snapped my arm not sure why the hook started moving as wen the guard opens it stops

    • If there was a fault with the machine, you should pursue a claim for compensation here as you would likely succeed. We would very much like to assist you with a claim and invite you to contact us on 01225430285 or use our ‘start a claim’ page to get the ball rolling.

  5. I am a maintenance engineer, for a company that is a supplier in the automotive industry. I work with various automated assembly machines and CNC machines. As part of my job, I attend breakdowns and maintain machinery and equipment. I was working on a machine that I had never worked on before. Whilst operating the machine, I crouched down to get eye level and got hit in the face by a fast moving, metal block, that is part of the machine. I believe there was no sufficient guarding in place to avoid this from ever happening the first place. I cut my nose and it was badly bruised. Can I claim ? Thanks

    • Given the nature of the machine and the possible risk to safety, it would be right to expect sufficient safety guards to be in place or warnings about risk of injury.

      As such, my initial view is that you have a valid claim for compensation for the injuries you sustained. Please make sure that an accident book entry has been made – if not, make a report of the accident yourself. I would recommend that you call us on 01225430285 or use our ‘start a claim’ page to get your claim started.

    • If you have been held 25% liable for the accident, then it is a case of shared or split liability. As you have been found to be 25% responsible, then the value attributed to your claim settlement will be subjected to a deduction of the same percentage.

    • Hi, last night my friend got electrocuted at work. The protective cover on the lead to the iron has been broken in 3 places and a screw missing from the plug, so it’s being held by one screw. As my friend took out the plug she got an electric shock. They failed to call an ambulance for her and one of the managers even laughed at her. Does she have a calm ?

      • Your friend has a valid claim. We would advise her to make a full accident book report of the incident and make note of the issues with the cable and screws and for her to seek medical attention in order to have the injuries noted officially.

  6. I work in a school kitchen and until November 2017, my role was as a service assistant. I then offered to help in the wash up area as they were short staffed and I wasn’t needed on my serving counter as much as the employer had changed the menus and wanted the chefs to cook the food to order.
    I then worked 2 days per week as a ‘runner’ and 3 days per week serving non-cooked foods.

    I hadn’t realised until the December that the dishwasher machine was faulty with only 1 of the 6 rollers working properly. I also had no idea that the dishwasher was automatic and that the trays should be rolled through mechanically. Due to the faulty rollers, I had had to pull and push the crates (loaded with heavy plates) through the dishwasher manually instead of it rolling along on the rollers automatically. Pushing the weigh of 4 crates through at a time. I asked the other employees in the wash up area why this hadn’t been reported and they said it been like it for years, so I spoke to the the Area Chef and he said he would look into it – this was just before the Christmas Holidays. When I returned to work in January, nothing had been done.

    In March 2017 I had to go the the doctors sue to excruciating pain in my left shoulder/arm. My GP said I’d probably suffered a tear to the rotator cuff. He gave me a sign myself off sick form which I gave to my manager who wasn’t very happy when I said what had happened. He said “what are you supposed to do then?”. I felt horrible and in pain. I said sorry but I’ve hurt my arm on the machine and felt that I had to continue to work so I ended up taking clean plates out with my other arm to the service area. I then spoke to my Area Manager and asked if they could put me back serving or get the machine fixed but still nothing has happened. I am still on the machine and having to use my other arm.

    I now have a dead arm and pins and needles everyday and shoulder and neck ache. The Head Porter said to our Manager about it again and the Manager said he didn’t know anything about it. I feel so depressed/frustrated and in pain. I know they will gang up if I take this further but I don’t know what else to do for them to take it seriously. Thank you kindly for any advice

    • You describe a comprehensive example of employer negligence that has directly lead to you sustaining a nasty and painful injury that no doubt impacts on your day-to-day life. Given what you have explained, we believe you have a valid claim for work accident compensation and we would be very happy to act for you.

      Your employer has been put on notice over what would seem to be many years that the dishwasher machine is not working correctly. It is clearly not designed to be used manually with people having to push the trays of plates through the machine. Those trays are clearly of weight and to pull them through without machine assistance is something that would foreseeably cause injury – as has happened to you. Their failure to act and repair or replace the faulty machine is employer negligence.

      We would recommend that you write to your employers head office, addressing the correspondence to your area manager and a copy to the HR team. You should fully explain the scenario you have described to us with regards to your own initial use of the dishwasher machine without training, the fault with the machine – that was not explained to you and how you have discovered that ‘it has been like it for years’. You should also mention that you have personally reported it on a few occasions and been advised that it would be looked in to and that the Head Porter has also reported it – but that NOTHING has been done. You should keep a copy of this letter or email as it would provide important evidence to support your claim.

      You should not be concerned about making a claim for compensation. We would like to help you and our expert staff know your rights and can offer support, advice and assistance. We work on a fully no win no fee basis and on the basis of your description of your injury and the fault with the machine at work, we believe that you have very strong prospects of succeeding with a claim against your employer.

  7. I work in a local fast food restaurant. I sustained an injury to my left shoulder and neck due to a wheel missing under a small refrigerator that was holding up a 25lb stainless steel industrial toaster. I’ve missed a lot of work due to the pain. They’ve put me back on work immediately after the injury despite my stressing to them the extent of the pain and the numbness in my hand from time to time. Also they’re only treating me for my left shoulder after time and time again im telling them it’s my neck AND shoulder. What should I do about my lost wages? Is there something I can do immediately to regain my wages? I have retained an injury attorney but wanted to know if there was something I can do while I wait for the company I work for to determine their liability or not.

    • Also to clarify the injury, the 25lb stainless steel industrial toaster fell on my shoulder and neck as I bent down to reach for pickles in the small refrigerator it was sitting on top of. The fridge (missing the front wheel) tilted forward and thus the toaster fell on me as I was bending over.

    • In the UK, the law does not require an employer to pay full salary to someone who is away from work due to ill health or injury – even if the ill health or injury was caused in an accident at work. The only way to recover lost income is to make a claim for accident at work compensation and if successful, recover all lost income and costs as well as receive compensation for the injuries sustained.

      On the basis of your description of your injury however, it would seem that you have a valid claim against your employer.

      Good luck!

  8. Hi I have had an accident where a roller shutter has fell down on me damaging my shoulder, have pains in kneck and top of spine and also muscle damage in both legs am I entitled to claim?

    • Given what you describe, I think you have every right to make a claim for compensation for the injury to your shoulder, neck and spine. We would be very happy to pursue this for you and I invite you to get in touch with us so that we can take your claim further for you.

      Any claim we make would be on a No Win No Fee basis and there is every chance that this claim would succeed.

  9. I was in lift at work and lift stopped doors opened i walked out but lift had stopped approx 6 inches below the floor and i didmt see amd tripped and fell. I seeked medical attention i have no fractures but wrist is in splint and in agony all over body. Have to go back in 10 days for another xray to check bone near thumb as it sometimes dont show injury for 10 days. Can I make a claim against work gor this

    • You can certainly make a claim against your employer for this accident. We have succeeded with very similar claims in the past and although there can never be a guarantee that a claim would succeed, we would have confidence in this matter.

      Please send your contact number to us via or call us on 01225430285 and we’ll get one of our specialist solicitors to pursue this further for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

  10. I have been told at work to use a certain equipment to carry heavy objects through a long route. This trolley has had no stability, safety straps or simply wasn’t meant to be used in this case the metal had rust, dirt and sharp edges; as a result I injured my ankle causing a deep cut which luckily did not cut through my muscle but required a 3hour A & E visit and 5 stitches. This was extremely painful. Such injuries require long period to heal. I am unable to walk or wear shoes on top of everything I am 7 weeks pregnant and this excludes me from taking strong painkillers to ease my pain. It has caused me stress and I fear to ask for a claim at work due to the fact that I feel that the company might cause trouble for me at work. What can I do?

    • Klaudia

      Thanks for commenting her and for making an online enquiry with your contact details. As you know, we have now spoken and we believe that you have a viable claim for compensation against your employer.

      Yours sincerely


  11. Hi my niece was using a meat slicer and cut the top off her thumb.
    She was given some brief verbal training but has never signed any documents relating to health and safety etc. The guide wasn’t on the machine when she started to use it the colleague whose job it was to set it up couldn’t get it on. She said she couldn’t do it either but no-one offered to help so she started to use it. Can she claim.?

    • The accident at work that your niece has been injured in is most definitely a strong claim and one we would be very confident of succeeding with.

      On the basis of your comment, we would argue that the employer has been completely negligent towards her health and safety whilst at work and rather than reducing the risk of accident in the workplace so far as possible, they have done the opposite. To not have a guard fitted to a dangerous bladed machine is a gross breach of health and safety and if proven, would guarantee that your niece would win her claim.

      It is important that your niece ensures that the details of her accident are recorded within an accident book or incident reporting scheme with her employer and that she attends all medical appointments.

      We would be very keen to get this accident at work claim up and running for your niece. I confirm that any claim would be made on a no win no fee basis and whilst we can’t guarantee that we would win, we can guarantee that it will cost you nothing if the claim were to fail.

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