All employers in the UK have a duty of care to ensure that the work equipment provided is safe and suitable for you to use while working. If an employer should have known about the faulty nature of the equipment, you could claim against your employer.
Regulations are in place for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment which means that tools and equipment need to be properly maintained. Your employer must also not instruct you to do a job with tools that are not suitable for that specific task.
Defective work equipment can result in serious injuries or even death. Employers are responsible for checking equipment on a regular basis. Any faulty equipment should be reported and dealt with immediately. Otherwise, if you have been injured as a result of faulty equipment, then you could potentially make a compensation claim.
What is defective equipment?
Although equipment that doesn’t work can be frustrating, it can also be potentially life-threatening as it could cause a serious accident. Essentially, everything in a work environment that your employer provides at work is classed as equipment; even a broken chair is classed as defective equipment.
Examples of inappropriate equipment in the workplace could be caused by:
· Poorly maintained and poorly inspected machinery (things can go wrong if machines are not set up correctly)
· Inadequate personal protective equipment
· Lack of health and safety and risk assessments
· Failure to repair equipment or temporary repairs which makes that equipment categorically unsafe
· Machines that do not have guards to prevent fingers and hands from getting caught
· Broken equipment
· Missing safety guards (safety features can be disabled sometimes because the machine works faster, and then it may not be turned back on)
What regulations are in place?
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) states that an employer provides all employees with appropriate equipment which is in good working condition. Accidents occur when employers fail to comply with health and safety laws.
Equipment should be:
· Safe for the intended use
· Safe to use by correctly installing and inspecting machinery
· Only used by those who have received adequate information, instruction, and training
· Accompanied by suitable health and safety measures such as protective controls. This may include emergency stop devices, clear visible marking, adequate means of isolation from sources of energy, and warning devices
· Used in accordance with specific requirements, e.g. mobile work and power presses
Every employer should have liability insurance by law. It guarantees that employees receive compensation should they suffer a defective work equipment injury at work and that money is available to compensate any accident at work claims.
What injuries can you sustain by defective equipment?
There are many types of injuries that could occur due to defective equipment. The most common include the following:
· Broken bones
· Loss of sight or hearing
· Permanent disability
· Back injuries
· Crush injuries (accidents caused by work equipment that crushes part of your body)
· Cuts, bruises and lacerations
· Electric shocks / electrocution
· Severe burns and scalding
· Accidents involving machinery which result in amputations, whether it happened traumatically at the scene or as a result of injuries sustained after the accident
What should you do if you have been injured as a result of defective equipment?
Following a workplace accident due to faulty equipment, you should seek medical attention from the hospital, or your G.P. Doctors can provide you with a medical report to describe the extent of your injuries and any treatment you will require or the need for follow up examinations in future.
If you suffer medical negligence because of your injury, you could also make a negligence claim.
Both minor and major injuries should be recorded, but any fatal injuries must be reported. If the employer does not have an accident book, it is advised that the claimant records the details and provides the employer with a copy.
Employers should also be made aware of the accident that occurred, and they should make a record. You should ask for a copy as you will need this to start your claim. If your employer doesn’t take responsibility for your injuries or fails to let you see the accident book to make a report, you should speak to a solicitor.
A personal injury claim should not lead to worries over redundancy, and you should not have any concerns about that because any employer threatening to dismiss could face additional legal action due to unlawful actions.
It is also a good idea to take photos of your injury and what may have caused your accident, gather any contact details for anyone who witnessed your accident, and make notes to pass on to a personal injury solicitor.
Keeping receipts of all expenses, you encounter such as parking costs and medication, will assist your case in making a work equipment claim.
If you would like to discuss your potential work equipment claim, get in touch with Wildwood Legal.
What could you receive defective work equipment claims compensation for?
Compensation is generally calculated by taking several factors into account, including:
· Loss of earnings if you required time off work or for any future earnings
· Travel costs to and from medical appointments
· Care costs if you still need, or needed, care at home because you could not perform your usual daily activities
· Medical treatment costs including physiotherapy, alterations to your home or car, prescription costs or counselling
Your compensation award will be split into general damages and special damages:
General Damages refer to the amount of compensation you will receive for your injury, i.e., your loss of amenity, pain and suffering. Each case is different, as are all accidents and, therefore, the value of your claim will be difficult to determine without knowing all the details.
The figure will be based on the type of injury sustained and the severity and impact the injury has had on your life, or the impact it may continue to have on your future.
Special damages refer to any additional financial losses you may have experienced as a direct result of the accident. Special Damages take into consideration:
· Loss of Earnings
· Parking and travel Costs
· Medication and treatment costs
How long do you have to make defective work equipment claims?
Making a personal injury claim which involves defective equipment has a time limit of three years. You could also make a defective work equipment claim on behalf of a loved one within the three-year time limit. There could be exceptions to this rule if the injured person passes away or has reduced mental capacity.
How much are defective work equipment claims worth?
The amount of compensation you receive depends on the seriousness of the injury, any rehabilitation costs you may incur, as well as the effect it has on your ability to work in future.
There are compensation calculators available online that can predict how much your claim is worth, but you should discuss this with a solicitor.
Your initial consultation with our solicitors will not cost you because it is a chance to discuss the circumstances of the accidents you were involved in. From that conversation, we can decide whether you have reasonable chances of success, and you may be given some general guidance on the amount of compensation you could obtain.
However, it is impossible to provide an accurate figure at early stages, so most cases are handled on a no win, no fee basis to help you seek interim payments.
How can Wildwood Legal assist with defective work equipment claims?
At Wildwood Legal, we pride ourselves on the high level of customer service we offer all our clients. Our experts aim to provide you with the best possible legal advice, be as flexible as possible to fit around your needs and communicate with every client using language they will understand. We want to get to know our clients personally; that’s why we are one of the best law firms.
If you have had an accident relating to defective work equipment and suffered injuries as a result, please call us today on 01423 209 046 and speak to one of our personal injury Solicitors today. We are a company registered in England and Wales, and we are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We offer a nationwide service, assisting those based in Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, Rochdale, Harlow and beyond.
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