What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Information about PPE

Personal Protective Equipment or PPE as it is more commonly known is all the equipment a worker needs to wear or use to protect them from risks to their health and safety which cannot be controlled in other ways.  In other words PPE should be a last resort and the risk to health and safety should be avoided completely if at all possible.

PPE includes respirators and masks, safety boots, overalls, goggles (or other eye protection), ear defenders, safety helmets, gloves, harnesses and high visibility clothing.  PPE also includes clothing needed to protect a worker against adverse weather conditions.


What to do if you have been injured at work

If you have been injured at work and your injury was caused or made worse by the lack of PPE you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation. Our lawyers are there for every injured worker - find out more about how we can support you by visiting our For Every Worker Injured campaign page.

What injuries can be caused by lack of PPE?

Risks to health and safety without appropriate PPE

There are many different types of injuries which can be caused by a worker having no PPE or inappropriate PPE.

Obvious injuries would include lacerations or amputations where safety gloves or safety boots are not worn, head injuries or brain injuries caused by lack of a safety helmet and catastrophic injuries caused by a faulty harness.

It is not just accidents which can occur as a result of a lack of appropriate PPE though; industrial diseases are also commonly caused by a lack of PPE.

Our specialist personal injury solicitors have dealt with many claims in the past for the following industrial diseases which could have been prevented if workers had been provided with appropriate PPE:

  • asbestos-related diseases
  • industrial deafness
  • occupational asthma
  • occupational dermatitis
  • vibration white finger

There are also many other accidents and illnesses which can be caused as a result of having no appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.  To find out if you have a valid claim for compensation contact us on 08000 224 224 for legal advice.

Is it my employer's duty to provide me with PPE?

Will I have to purchase my own PPE to use at work?

Regulations state that all PPE necessary should be provided free of charge by your employer as it is an employer's duty to keep their employees safe whilst at work. Employers cannot ask for any financial contribution to be made towards the PPE by their employee.

The regulations go onto say that it is also an employer's duty to ensure that the PPE is properly assessed before use to ensure it is suitable and that the PPE is stored and maintained properly.  An employer also has to provide their employee with instructions on how to use the PPE correctly and ensure that their employees do use it correctly. If a worker has to wear several different PPE items such as breathing equipment and eye protection, the PPE must be compatible with each other and be capable of being worn together without undermining the full and desired protection to be afforded by each.

If you are injured at work due to a lack of PPE, inappropriate PPE or lack of training on how to use the PPE, you may be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim against your employer.  Contact us for legal advice.