Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Compensation Claims

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You can claim compensation if you have been injured due to inadequate protective equipment, if it can be proven that those responsible for your safety failed to comply with their statutory duties. In this article we look at how to make a successful claim.

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When people claim injury compensation after an accident involving inadequate protective equipment, it is usually an accident at work compensation claim. Such claims can arise from other areas too, for example, during public events and activities.

Employers and event organisers are legally obliged to assess the risks that their workplace or activity present.  They must ensure that workers or participants are advised of the risks present and provided with (or required to wear) protective equipment.

Inadequate protective equipment compensation claims will succeed, and see the claimant obtain a compensation settlement, if it can be proven that an employer has been negligent and failed to comply with their statutory duties to provide the necessary protective equipment, or if an event organiser has not provided adequate safety equipment.

Commonly associated with inadequate protective equipment are crushing injuries, lacerations and burns. In more severe claims we see permanent consequences from the injuries, such as limited mobility, scarring and psychological trauma.

The benefits of claiming compensation

If you have been injured as a result of inadequate protective equipment, claiming personal injury compensation can help ease some of the problems you’ll experience and help in a number of ways:

  • It’s your legal right, and if successful will fairly compensate you for injuries that were not your fault.
  • A successful claim could fund private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.
  • It can help you recover any lost income now and in the future if you are prevented from working again.
  • In the case of a fatal accident, loved ones can claim 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, with the value of the claim including any lost income and incurred costs as well as a settlement for the injuries and medical treatment that you have sustained.

In what circumstances you can claim

In the majority of cases, inadequate protective equipment claims will relate to an injury suffered at work. In such cases, a claim will succeed if employer negligence can be proved. This would include a lack of enforcement, or provision of protective equipment, or allowing use of the wrong equipment. It could be that an employer has failed to provide gloves, hard hats or re-enforced footwear, for example. All workers, whether temporary or permanent, have the same right to a safe working environment and legal entitlements following an injury.

Employers must ensure:

  • That staff are provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) or made aware they need to provide their own PPE.
  • That any protective equipment provided is of sound working order and fit for purpose, by way of regular servicing and repair of the same.
  • That any tools or machinery that are faulty are removed from use and only returned to active service once fully repaired.

Common scenarios of inadequate protective equipment claims include:

  • Workers suffering head injuries due to a lack of hard hat provision
  • Lacerations to the hands and fingers because of a lack of gloves
  • Crushing injuries to the feet and toes due to a lack of protective footwear
  • Chemical burn injuries
  • Respiratory damage or skin irritations such as industrial dermatitis through a lack of protective equipment for the safe handling of dangerous chemicals

How Direct2Compensation can help

As with all claims, it is important to make sure that the details of your accident have been recorded properly within an 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.

At Direct2Compensation we can evaluate whether you were injured because of inadequate protective equipment. We know your rights, and can help you to understand whether the specifics of your accident mean you can successfully claim injury compensation.

Direct2Compensation work with some of the best expert injury compensation solicitors in the UK.  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 when it comes to starting your claim.

To find out a little bit more about the claims process and how we can help, 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.

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Questions & Answers

  1. Bob

    I fell while working outside for work. I am provided work boots but they are unsuitable for the weather conditions so majority of team wear footwear of our own selection, including manager who verbally approved this.
    My fall was not due to footwear but the conditions on site. Wet, muddy weather and wooden edging on paths which led me to slip.
    If I claimed to pay for physio (shoulder, knee and back) would I be blamed for footwear?

    • Ian Morris

      In some circumstances a claimant may be forced to accept an element of ‘contributory negligence’. This is where a defendant admits that they have been negligent and caused or partially caused an injury, but the claimant could have done more to prevent an injury too. In this case, that is a possibility, but it should not stop you from pursuing a claim for compensation.

      • Bob

        Sorry should stop me or shouldn’t?

        • Ian Morris

          It should not stop you from taking action.

        • Ian Morris

          Following a specialist medical expert appointment, a Solicitor will usually receive the experts report and prognosis of injury within 10 – 15 days.

  2. Nick

    I wasn’t provided with protective ear defenders, even though I had asked for them as my other team members had been given them. I was strimming for 5 days in a row 9-6 with a 45 min lunch break and ended up having to seek medical advise from my local hospital who diagnosed with me with a ruptured ear drum and advised that my other ear had possibly been damaged and could also rupture. I gave the paperwork into work, on this it stated that I could not continue to strim unless I was provided with ear protection. I was told to strim again and still not offered ear protective so did not do it. Nothing was mentioned about me not having been offered ear protection yet again. I am currently doing something else but could face being in this position again, what can I do pls?

    • Ian Morris

      You have a valid right to make a claim against your employer for the damage caused to your ear. The employers failure to provide you with the correct PPE is negligence and should see you succeed with a claim against them.

      Please call us to find out more or start your claim on 01225430285

  3. Emma

    I am currently working on a temporary contract for Tesco during covid 19. I was not provided with any PPE or full training. On Friday the 24th of April 2020 I was beginning my night shift when a cage with a broken wheel crushed my toe. I reported the incident to a manager and he filled an accident report I was then sent home. I had 4 days off but felt I needed to go back to work as I wasn’t getting paid! Company policy apparently?

    I had to sign a return to work form but was not asked if my foot was any better. It wasn’t in fact it’s still very painful and hard to walk on! My first night return still with my injury I was placed on the beer and alcohol aisle where I was expected to stand on a stool to reach crates of beer and wine bottles from a height and place them on the floor earring in mind I couldn’t balance on my right leg due to my foot and the pain. Can you help?

    • Ian Morris

      Please call us on 01225430285. You have a right to make a claim as it was caused by a broken cage wheel, which is likely to be established as negligence against the employer. Further, there is also a potential 2nd area of negligence in their failure to provide you with PPE or full training.

      Despite the fact that you are on a temporary contract, you are afforded the same protection under the health and safety at work act and safe working regulations as a full-time permanent employee, so you are entitled to pursue a claim for compensation for the injury to your foot and for any lost income or other costs.

      If you would rather we called you, simply provide your contact number and let us know when you would like us to call and we’ll contact you to explain how we can help you pursue your claim.

  4. Tom

    Both of my ears were infected (June 2018) and ear drums damaged due to an infection caused when I had inspecting a waste management facility (on behalf of my employers). I was sent there without adequate ear protection. I had a surgery last year to patch one ear drum to stop continuous infection and I am now expecting similar one for the other ear in coming months. This also had been reduced my hearing levels on both ears.

    Do you think I have a case?

    • Ian Morris

      Employers have a duty of care to ensure that they correctly assess the risks to health of any worker acting for them in the work that they task them with doing. In this case, the employer would appear to have failed to minimise the risk of injury to you through their failure to provide you with the correct PPE equipment.

      We therefore feel that your situation is one that could well lead to a valid claim against the employer and that this matter should be considered in more detail by our specialist Solicitors.

  5. Cheryl

    I work outside and we have been issued with clothing that is inadequate for the weather. I complained and nothing has changed. I recently got a viral infection a which spread to chest infection and I’m been disciplined for absence, can i sue my employer for injury to my health for lack of correct clothing?

    • Ian Morris

      Notwithstanding the ill health you have suffered, it is likely to be very hard to pursue a claim against your employer on a personal injury basis for the scenario you describe. There is likely to be an issue of establishing a causal link between the clothing and the illness.

  6. Scott

    I started work at new work place that builds powder coat ovens, it was like working in the 80’s no Ppe was given or training etc, job included using rock wool insulation building panels, answered using power coating machine/oven, not at any point was I offered training or a mask etc, now i’ve been off ill with chest infection/pleurisy, pressured to go back to work or I have no job. Then took a turn at work, struggled to breathe. I went to go told to rest and recover and in this time was let go. Do I have a case as I think the environment contributed to my illness which left me with no job?

    • Ian Morris

      To make a claim for ill health caused as a result of the negligence of an employer, an employee must demonstrate a causal link between their workplace and the health condition or injury that they have sustained.

      In your case, much would depend on the length of time that you had been working at the workplace without the PPE, your previous health and what your medical records state on that issue.

  7. Omar

    After I told my manager I was having headaches from the spray cans we use to paint the wheels he’s been giving me a hard time. Last friday I was breaking down some boxes, i’m bent forward, he comes from behind with the cherry picker and kicks the boxes and they hit my back. I turn around, he stares at me, turns around and leaves. I ask him for a mask to paint he said we don’t have any. I told him a month ago and he said they will get here in a couple of days, now he says they haven’t arrived, they want me to quit.

    • Ian Morris

      You should put the issues you have described here to your employer in writing. As you use spray paints, the employer has an obligation to ensure that you are provided with respiratory protection and that the workplace is well ventilated.

  8. Willard

    My employer did not gave me the PPE and I was working as a cleaner on heights with some dangerous chemicals and I ended up hospitalised affected by inhaling the smell of the chemical. I worked 3 months without any PPE for the heights including the fall arrest system, safety boots or even a hard hat or even uniform. I was working under a very cold roof in the cold storage food plant for 8 months without the freezer jackets, will I get compensated or not?

    • Ian Morris

      Was your accident at work recorded in an accident book or reported to any other Health and Safety bodies? The story you have provided indicates an employer who is negligent towards the Health and Safety of employees and as such, you would appear to have the right to make a claim for compensation.

  9. Lilian

    I worked in an Air freshener factory about 25 years ago. Since then I have had asthma and sore eyes. We wasn’t given any kind of ppe. Is it to late to make a claim?

    • Ian Morris

      If your symptoms developed more than 3 years ago, you would be out of limitation and unable to do anything.

  10. Isaac

    Hi, i cut my wrist with glass at work. i didn’t have safety cuffs around my wrist, i have been at home for 10 months had 3 operations. what can i claim and when do i claim?

    • Ian Morris

      Under UK law, any personal injury claim must be made within 3 years of the date of the accident. Therefore, if you were injured at work 10 months ago, you have a further 26 months in which you can pursue your claim for accident at work compensation.

  11. Scott

    I was told I had to wear my hard hat on a flooring job and it impaired my vision when walking and looking down, throwing the rubber base around the perimeter and hit a metal shelf it jammed my neck. I have four herniated disc‘s and bone fragments in my neck. I have told them my supervisor and owner of the company about injury the day it happened. I never went to the doctor, a month later I got numbness in my right hand lasted about for five months it went away in about two years. Later that the pain was so bad going down my shoulders I couldn’t work and I got some MRIs done and I looked up the hardhat rules and it says as long as there’s no impaired danger there is no need for a hardhat and nobody was working above me so I was just wondering what are my rights?

    • Ian Morris

      You need to find out why the employer required you to wear a hard hat. I would expect that a risk assessment had been carried out in advance and that the hard hat was recommended as a requirement.

      Clearly, you have suffered a serious injury and as such, investigating a possible claim further is both sensible and reasonable.

  12. Kristen

    I started at a factory a few weeks ago. They didn’t have gloves small enough for me, so they gave me the smallest they had. Then my glove got pulled into the machine, fracturing my fingertip and requiring 8 stitches. But I’m new here, on probation/temp until August. I don’t want to lose my job. What do I do?

    • Ian Morris

      Whether or not you are new to the job and on probation, you are afforded the same health and safety rights as any other worker. If your employer has put you at risk of injury by failing to provide you with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) as would appear to be the case here with regards to you being given gloves that were not the correct size for you, you have the right to make a claim for compensation.

      You should definitely make sure that the details of your accident are recorded within your employers accident book so that there is a record of the accident and relevant evidence to support your claim – should you make one in the future.

      Given your concerns about your temporary position until August, you could always speak to us so that we can make a record of the claim details and at least let you speak with a qualified specialist personal injury Solicitor. If they were to then wish to pursue your claim, you could request that the claim was set aside until your probationary period had expired. Remember, no Solicitor could start action on your claim without your signed instructions and authority to do so.

      You’ve had a nasty injury that will leave a scar and probably affect your dexterity and grip strength. Therefore, claiming compensation for this would be fair and reasonable.

  13. Betty

    I was injured at work because they didn’t gave me safety boots.

    • Ian Morris

      If an employer fails to provide a worker with the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), or fails to ensure that such protective equipment is worn by all people on site, they are guilty of employer negligence if there is then an accident and injuries are sustained. In such cases, the employer would most likely lose should anyone then pursue a claim for accident at work compensation.

  14. adam mitson

    i have been told by the HSE that i have been using lead paint for 3 years with not the right breathing mask or correct ventilation my employee was issued with 3 prohibition notices but still use lead paint, the HSE advised me to see my GP to check skin inhalation and my breathing, he bullies me and the other staff, my dad informed the HSE as he was worried about my health.

    • Ian Morris

      Your employer has clearly been guilty of negligence here and is playing a dangerous game with your well-being and health. Have you now seen your GP regarding the issue? Get in touch with us if you’d like some advice as to your rights here and whether you can claim compensation.

      • Adam

        I am going to book with my gp as it has taken 6 weeks for my employer to act on this. He has now changed the paint to lead free. Do i still have a claim.

        • Ian Morris


          You are doing the right thing in terms of seeing your GP. Make sure you inform the GP in full as to what has happened and what materials your employer has been getting you to work with.

          I would suggest that when you have seen your GP and been given advice as to what, if any, health problems the lead paint etc has caused, that you return to me. We can then investigate further with regards to a claim for compensation for you.

          • Adam

            So if theres no damage caused to my health then theres no claim? I feel the 3 years he has neglected my health is worth something. I am not a sprayer by trade i was put on the job and left on it as i was good from the off. So had no clue as to what paints etc i was using i just did as i was instructed.

          • Ian Morris


            You may well have a viable claim, but it is impossible to advise on the prospects without knowing what injuries/health problems you have suffered as a result.

            The most likely damage/injury risk to you from using lead paint without the correct breathing apparatus will be respiratory diseases, but there is also a risk of more sinister illnesses such as cancers too. With this in mind, there is reasonable likelihood that you will be suffering from stress and anxiety of the worry of what potential injury or illness could materialise in the future. You should discuss any relevant aspect of psychological injury with your GP as they may be willing to provide assistance to you with this regard. Remember, you can claim compensation for psychological injuries as well as physical injury.

            If there is no injury confirmed by a Doctor, it is unlikely that you will be able to pursue a claim against the employer. In that case, there is no damage or loss to claim against them for. Although they have placed you at risk and acted negligently, there is no avenue for compensation for such a situation. If you are not injured, but the employer has flouted Health & Safety law, you should report them to the Health and Safety Executive and they can face punishment or censure from them.

            However, with the risk of an illness developing in the future as a result of your exposure to harmful substances like lead paints, it is worth remembering that you can still pursue a claim in the future. The claim limitation period rules that give you 3-years in which you can pursue a claim for compensation starts on the date of an accident, or in your case, on the date of diagnosis of an industrial injury/illness.

            Please contact me when you have spoken to your GP and I’ll be able to offer you more precise advice.

  15. Kevin

    I was put on job untrained and unsupervised which resulted in a muscle strain injury. I have been off work since. I work for an agency on an ad hoc basis which suits me because of long term mental issues caused by my mother’s suicide and finding my father dead after he had been dead for a week. This incident has seemed to have made my mental health worse. I was not provided with ppe and had no information on health and safety issues. I have noticed vision in one eye is blurred magnified and wavey which makes me feel nauseous. I have found out lasers are used which shone into my eye which explains moments of double vision during this shift. I have lost confidence with the company I am hired out to and do not want to return. Any information would be appreciated as my financial future looks bleak.

    • Ian Morris

      It would seem that you have a couple of claims for compensation here. Firstly, the muscle injury. If your employer failed to provide you with manual handling training and supervision, you may well be able to claim compensation against the employer on the grounds of employer negligence for this injury and any loss of income associated with it.

      Secondly, the eye problem. You should certainly get this diagnosed by Doctors and confirmed. If the employer is using lasers and not providing eye protection, they are clearly breaching your Health & Safety rights.

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