PPE and your employer’s duty of care

Regardless of where you work, your employer has a legal duty of care to ensure that you are safe whilst carrying out duties expected of you. This involves removing dangers and risks wherever possible and failing that, mitigating the risk of you coming to any harm by providing you with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). There are many different types of PPE and the type of PPE necessary at any place of work will vary, but they will be identified by a risk assessment (also a legal requirement). These are the most commonly encountered items of PPE:

  • Safety helmet
  • Eye protection
  • High-visibility clothing (hi-vis)
  • Ear defenders
  • Protective gloves
  • Steel toe-capped/non-slip boots
  • Harnesses for working at heights.

The list is not exhaustive, but the majority of workplaces will have a requirement for at least one those items to be used at some point. Although some items can be expensive, your employer must provide you with these items should a risk assessment require them. Further duties the employer must take with regards to PPE is to:-

  • Ensure that all PPE is stored correctly and not damaged
  • All PPE is adjustable or able to fit the user
  • The correct PPE items are used for the correct task
  • Ensure that adequate training is provided to employees on how to use PPE.

The cultural shift towards more risk-averse workplaces has seen a significant drop in workplace-related injuries over the last thirty years. Even where employers have done everything required of them there still remains an element of risk in most, if not all workplaces.

Your employer’s duty of care is a legal one. If you have been injured in your workplace and feel that your employer has failed to carry out what is expected of them you might be eligible for a compensation claim as a result. Contact a personal injury lawyer to find out if you are entitled to a no win no fee claim.

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