Between 2010 -2011 the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) estimated that over six hundred thousand people suffered an injury at work. Around one hundred and fifty thousand people needed to have over a week’s absence due to the injuries they sustained.
These figures are thankfully declining at a rate of around 6% a year since 2006, however the number of lost days work due to employees becoming injured at work because of substandard equipment still present a major problem for employers throughout the UK
An Office for National Statistics (ONS) opinions survey in 2010 found that 25% of those asked felt they had inadequate health & safety training, and therefore had little or no confidence regarding their safety at work and were more likely to suffer a work injury.
Every employer in the UK has a legal obligation to provide training to all employees, under the Provision And Use Of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) is a regulation for organisations to manage and prevent any risk of personal injury to employees using equipment in the workplace.
Organisations can be held liable in accordance with PUWER for the training of their employees. An employer should be aware of all potential risks and it is not acceptable to plead ignorance to what is considered ‘adequate’ by the Health& Safety Executive (HSE).
The Provision And Use Of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) require that equipment is:
- Suitable for the intended use.
- Used only by personnel who have received adequate instruction, information and training.
- Safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and, in certain circumstances, inspected to ensure this remains the case.
- Accompanied by suitable safety measures, e.g. protective devices, warnings, markings.
What is equipment?
PUWER fundamentally covers the safe use of work equipment used by employees, even equipment brought in by an employee. When an employee uses his or her own equipment on site that has not necessarily been provided by the employer it is still the responsibility of the employer to ensure the equipment is safe to use and the employee has had sufficient training to use the equipment in order to avoid the possibility of an injury in the workplace.
Examples of equipment include:
- Hammers, drills, sanding machines, industrial tools
- Telephones, radios
- Lifting equipment such as forklifts and cranes
- Office equipment, such as printers, computers and chairs.
All tools and equipment you use at work must adhere to the requirements set out in the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Sustaining an injury at work due to malfunctioning equipment, faulty tools or lack of proper training being provided will be the responsibility of your employer and they could be held liable for failing in their duty of care and answerable to any injury compensation claim.
Common work accidents caused by faulty equipment
- No safety guards or rails around machinery. If an employee falls or is dragged into a machine by their clothing, causing an injury.
- Where an employee is working at height on a ladder that has been provided by an employer when scaffolding should have been. If the employee falls and suffers an injury then the employer would be held responsible.
- Workers injured as a result of machinery malfunctioning. When machine fails to stop or start when instructed to do so.
- Tail lifts on lorries failing to support the weight of an employee and the goods being lifted, causing the tail lift to break and injury to the employee. Whilst tail lifts can support heavy weights there have been instances when they have failed to do so due to lack of maintenance.
Compensation for injuries suffered
If you have been working in an unsafe environment and using equipment that is not fit for purpose and as a result have suffered an injury at work you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Please contact Injury Claims Assistance today for a free, no obligation assessment of your claim.
Our specialist personal injury solicitors will be able to quickly assess the circumstances surrounding your work injury and be able to give you an immediate answer as to whether or not you would be entitled to make a compensation claim against your employers for failing to provide you with a duty of care under the Provision And Use Of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).