Case Study

Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Workplace

Case Type: Accident at Work
Injury: Hand Blunt Trauma, Thumb Traumatic Wound*
Settled by: Elaine Hickey
Settled on: 21st March, 2018
Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Workplace

Case Summary

Incident

Sean sustained a work related injury on the 15/07/2016. He was working on a refrigeration unit as a general operative when the unit came off a jig and fell on his right hand. He was wearing protective hand gloves when the incident occurred to permit him to work with his thumb and index fingers however, the protective gloves he was wearing did not cover them.

He had to get stitches and was out of work for 2½ days. Sean also was left with a scar approximately 2½ centimeters long. The scar is noticeable and visible from conversation distance. It can also be irritable and discomforting especially in cold weather. The position that the thumb is at is permanent and no further treatment was indicated.

Case Progression

The Personal Injuries Board decided it would not be appropriate to assess the claim as the respondent did not pay them for dealing with the claim. Proceedings were issued on the 20/07/2017.

Case Settlement

The case was settled in the High Court on the 21/03/2018. Sean’s workplace failed in their duty of care to him by not providing a work station that was safe and without risk, where the components were not secured.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What to do after an accident at work?

    After an accident at work and before making a work related claim*, your first priority should be to seek medical attention. In minor workplace incidents whereby you have a slip, trip or fall, you may feel as though you are fine, but what you don’t realise is that the minor injury you have suffered could develop into a bigger health issue for you. Assessing your health after an accident is a critical first step.

    Once you have had a medical assessment there are a number of steps you will follow:

    1. Report the accident* to your superior

    Before making work related claims* it is important that you notify your manager at work as to the accident that occurred. You need you to inform them of the injuries you suffered and the cause of the accident. It is advisable for you to seek confirmation from your superior that you have reported the accident, whether it is written or electronic.

    2. Seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor*

    Once you have reported the accident, it is important that you seek advice from a personal injury solicitor* who has experience with accidents in the workplace. They can then talk you through the next steps as to what is involved when making work related claims *.

    In the event that you do decide to take a personal injury* claim, you are not obliged to personally tell your employer. Your solicitor can write to your employer and notify them of the claim. Some of our clients have told us that they feel that it would be better for them to inform their employer that a claim was being made and that their solicitor would be in touch. This is a matter for each client. Generally, we would advise that all communications regarding the case take place between the legal representatives.

  2. How do I report a workplace accident?

    It is important to immediately take the following steps after the occurrence of an accident at work.

    • Report the accident immediately to your superior and ensure that an accident report is completed and you are given a copy of it.
    • Seek medical attention immediately and ensure that your doctor or hospital personnel keep detailed records of the accident.

    There are strict obligations on employers under the Health & Safety Acts together with other legislation to ensure that employees have a safe system of work and that employees are properly trained in the tasks that they are carrying out and that they are provided with proper equipment in the course of their employment.

  3. How is compensation calculated?

    The Injuries Board Book of Quantum provides us with general guidelines as to how much compensation may be awarded in a personal injury claim* and is used by the Injuries Board when they are assessing a personal injury claim*. This book was compiled by examining sample cases from over 51,000 closed personal injury cases* from 2013 and 2014 and is based on actual court figures. It shows us what personal injury compensation* amounts were awarded in the past and help give an estimate as to how much compensation could be awarded based on a person’s specific injuries.

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