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PPE and your employer's duty of care

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Regardless of where you work, your employer has a legal duty of care to ensure that you are safe while carrying out your duties. As part of this, they are required to do everything reasonably possible to remove or minimise any dangers or risks you may face while working for them.

In particularly high risk industries, such as the construction sector or factories that use heavy machinery, this includes providing you with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where needed, which has to be provided at no cost to you. There are many different types of PPE and the type of PPE necessary at a place of work will vary. To determine what PPE you will need in order to carry out your duties safely, a risk assessment has to be done as it is a legal requirement.  The most commonly encountered items of PPE are:

  • 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 many workplaces will require their workers to wear at least one of these items during the course of their duties. Although some items can be expensive, your employer must provide you with these items should a risk assessment require them. It is also important that employers regularly reassess their workplaces and the risks involved in the duties they are asking their employees to carry out. In addition, employers are also required 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 that are fully mindful of all relevant health and safety legislation, such as the Factories Act 1960, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and all subsequent updates,  has seen a significant drop in workplace-related injuries over the last thirty years. Even where employers have done everything required of them though, there still remains an element of risk in most, if not all, workplaces.

How we can help

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 to provide you with the correct protective equipment or hasn’t shown you how to use it properly, you might be eligible to make a compensation claim as a result.

At The Compensation Experts, we work with specialist law firms who have a track record making successful workplace injury compensation claims. After your initial consultation with one of our advisors, which is done on a free no-obligation basis, we will match you with the firm who best suits the circumstances of your case.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with us via the contact form on our website or by calling 0161 413 8765.