Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Claim *
Employers have a duty to provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) where applicable. PPE can consist of gloves, overalls, boots, eye and ear protection and is worn by an individual for protection against any potential health and safety hazards. Any instance where an employer has ignored the supply of PPE to save money is considered a health and safety breach and this is where PPE claims * arise. PPE claims * may also arise in cases where an employer provides faulty or inadequate PPE to their employees which causes an injury at work *.
Types of PPE
PPE can include a variety of different safety gear for different jobs and can include the following:
- High vis jackets for those working at night
- Safety goggles – these are used in many jobs, for example, a welder must use these to protect their eyes from sparks while welding. A construction worker may use these while carry out their duties to protect from dust or debris while on a building site.
- Hard hat – this is used to protect a person’s head from falling objects or to protect them if they fall themselves. This is commonly used on a construction site, not only for workers but also for other visitors to the site.
- Earmuffs – for those who are exposed to loud noises or working in loud environments
- Gloves – safety gloves protect the hands and wrists from injuries such as cuts or burns while working with sharp objects to lifting heavy objects.
- Safety harness – this should be provided in cases where you are lifted off the ground while working
- Steel toe cap boots – for a construction site steel toe cap boots are a must to protect your feet from falling objects.
- Protective masks – these face masks prevent a worker from inhaling potentially dangerous dust particles
- Flame resistant overalls for firefighters
When is PPE considered inadequate?
PPE provided by the employer must meet a certain standard, but it is also up to the employee to take care of the PPE, store it correctly and also let the employer or manager know when the equipment is inadequate or needs replacing. Inadequate PPE could resemble one of the following, for example:
- Eye goggles that don’t fit well and slip off during work.
- Safety boots that are not the correct size or not appropriate for the work environment – for example on a construction site steel toe cap boots are a must.
- Hard hats that don’t fit correctly, that slip down off your head or obstruct your vision by slipping down over your eyes or that are not thick enough to protect you from falling objects.
- Gloves that don’t fit well and are too short or are not thick enough to protect you against the dangers of your job.
- Firefighters that are wearing below standard flame-resistant overalls.
- Protective masks that have holes in them
Section 8 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 puts the duty of care on employers and states that they should supply PPE to employees in areas where the risk of injury may not be adequately controlled. It also states that the employer should:
- Ensure that all PPE is maintained in good working order, inadequate hygienic conditions and that adequate storage is available for the PPE and that necessary repairs, maintenance or replace are carried out as needed.
- Ensure that PPE is adequate for the purpose of the job at hand
- Review periodically the use of PPE and make amendments where needed
- Ensure that PPE is used only for its intended purpose and for no other reason (except in specific or exceptional circumstances)
- Ensure that if an employee must wear more than one item of PPE that both items are compatible with each other.
- Ensure that where it is necessary for an item of PPE is to be worn by more than one person that it doesn’t create any health or hygiene issues
- Inform the employee of risks that the PPE protects them from
- Provide the employee with instruction on how to use the PPE
- Arrange for training and where necessary provide demonstrations of its use
Where an employer has adequately trained an employee on how to use PPE the employee must:
- Participate in training
- Follow the training given to them
- Only use the PPE for its intended use
- Take all reasonable steps to ensure that the PPE is returned to storage after they have used it
- Report any damages or defects to your employer
- Loss of sight
- Industrial deafness
- Breathing problems
- Burns and cuts
- Head Injuries
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
At Tracey Solicitors, our dedicated team of personal injury solicitors * have years of experience in helping people who suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party. We understand the injuries (physically and emotionally) that you have suffered and have supported many people in similar situations proceed with personal injury claims * in Ireland over the past 30 years.
If you would like to learn more, feel free to call 01 649 9900 for a confidential discussion and tell us about your case or reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask any questions or queries you may have to our work injury solicitors team *.