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Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace

June 12, 2014

There are many industries where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential. People working in hazardous environments are most likely to need to wear and use PPE but it can cover anything from rubber gloves for washing up to hard hats and laboratory goggles.

PPE exists to provide a final layer of protection in an overall workplace safety strategy. PPE should be offered as the last piece of the puzzle in workplace safety, once every other consideration has been assessed and addressed. Employers should try and ensure all health and safety risks are minimised before turning to PPE. Every other health and safety measure must be put in place first and in any instance where this isn’t so then the employer can be found to be negligent – putting them at risk if accidents occur and compensation is sought.

Work Safely

PPE and Workplace Accidents

PPE is sometimes a standard addition to the workplace – it’s necessary in the construction industry and professional kitchens for example. In both these environments PPE can prevent workplace injuries as regular work duties require the employees to do things which can’t be done without the additional safety measure of gloves or hard hats or harnesses.

PPE exists to prevent personal injuries and keep employees safe in the workplace. A lack of PPE means that employees are at higher risk of injury, a builder without the right gloves is at risk of lacerations to the hands for example and working at height without a harness is clearly a huge breach of health and safety. PPE should be an integral part of all health and safety measures in all work environments, whether it’s relevant or not.

It is also the duty of the employer to ensure all PPE is properly maintained and fit for purpose. PPE that isn’t fit for purpose can be more risky than no PPE at all and it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure this isn’t so. If faulty or damaged PPE is used and an accident occurs, the employer is likely to be found liable for compensation, where a claim is raised.

PPE Compensation Claims

Where an injury occurs because of faulty, unsatisfactory or an entire lack of PPE then compensation can be sought. Injuries both minor and serious can cause loss of earnings and many heath issues which the employee has a right to be compensated for. Compensation is usually sought from the employer who are generally found to be the negligent party although sometimes it can be proven that the company who provided the PPE is actually to blame and therefore they are liable for the compensation.

At Lamb & Co we have worked with a wide range of clients who have suffered from workplace injuries. The right equipment really is key to ensuring employees feel safe in their work environments and it can ensure accidents are prevented.

Photo credit: Chris Corbett via photopin cc