Work equipment includes any tools, machinery and appliances used to do your job. It ranges from large pieces of machinery used in various industries to mobile devices, PPE, clothing and coffee machines. All employers have a legal duty to ensure the equipment you use at work is safe and suitable and does not put you at risk of injury.
Defective equipment in the workplace could lead to various incidents, such as falls, electrocution, chemical leaks and machinery accidents. These could cause mild to severe injuries, such as cuts, fractures, head trauma and amputations. If your employer has failed to protect your health and safety, you could make a defective work equipment claim for compensation.
To find out if you have a valid case, call free on 0800 678 1410 for a case assessment. You can also enter your details into our online claim form to request a call back from a friendly legal adviser.
What is considered faulty work equipment?
As mentioned above, work equipment refers to any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool, or installation that employees interact with to perform their duties. It can vary across industries and occupations, including both powered and non-powered devices and machinery, such as:
- Power tools like drills, saws, and angle grinders
- Machinery such as conveyor belts and printing presses
- Hand tools like hammers, knives and wrenches
- Electrical equipment like computers and copying machines
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as helmets, gloves, and safety glasses
- Vehicles like forklift trucks, cars and agricultural machines
- Laboratory equipment such as test tubes and centrifuges
If your workplace equipment doesn’t work correctly, this is not only frustrating but can also be life-threatening and lead to severe injuries. Examples of faulty equipment at work for which you may be able to claim compensation include:
- Malfunctions in the mechanical components of equipment, such as gears, bearings, or moving parts;
- Problems with the electrical elements of equipment, including wiring, circuits, or control systems;
- Physical damage or wear and tear that affects the structural integrity of the equipment;
- Missing or broken safety guards, shields, or protective barriers designed to prevent contact with moving parts;
- Leakage of fluids, such as oil, hydraulic fluid, or coolant, from equipment;
- Issues with the controls, switches, or buttons used to operate the equipment;
- Failure of safety features, such as emergency stop buttons, interlocks, or safety sensors;
- Use of equipment that does not comply with current safety standards or regulations;
- Equipment that has not been regularly maintained, repaired or inspected;
- Work equipment or machinery that is not adequate for the job;
- Faulty, ill-fitting or lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
If you suffered an injury due to faulty equipment at work, an experienced solicitor could help you claim the compensation you deserve from the responsible party.
Employer’s responsibilities regarding faulty equipment at work
Your employer is responsible for ensuring your workplace equipment is adequately maintained and safe to use. They must follow the regulations in place to safeguard your health and safety, which include:
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
- The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
- The Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
- The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
Under this legislation, your employer has the following responsibilities:
- Regularly assess work environment for any health and safety hazards;
- Inspect equipment and machinery to ensure it is safe for use and ensure any defects are repaired correctly;
- Make sure employees receive suitable safety information and adequate training regarding the usage of equipment;
- Protect you from dangerous machine parts by using safety guards;
- Remove defective equipment promptly until it has been repaired or replaced;
- Provide functional personal protective gear for the job in hand and ensure this is adequately maintained;
- Maintain electrical systems and carry out work on them to prevent accidents;
- Ensure all equipment and machinery are used according to the regulations and specific requirements.
If your employer has failed in their duties and you suffered an injury, you could make an accident at work claim. You have the legal right to recover compensation for your losses, which should not affect your job. If you suffer any repercussions, a solicitor can help you take further action under unfair dismissal laws.
Can I make a defective work equipment claim?
If you suffered an injury as a result of defective work equipment, you could be able to make a claim. A free consultation with an experienced solicitor is the easiest way to know if you are entitled to compensation. They will assess the details of your case and determine if you can make a faulty equipment injury claim. They will ask you a few questions during a free initial consultation to verify whether:
- Another party, who is the defendant in your claim, owed you a legal duty of care;
- They breached their obligations by acting negligently;
- Their negligence caused you to have an accident at work;
- You suffered injuries and other losses as a result within the past three years.
Faulty work equipment claims are usually brought against employers who fail to follow the use of work equipment regulations. However, you would still be entitled to compensation if the equipment or machinery had a manufacturing defect. Based on the circumstances, your employer may still be liable under the Employers Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969, or your claim could be against the company that manufactured the equipment.
What to do if you suffer an accident at work caused by defective equipment?
If you suffer any injury at work, keep in mind that your health is the most essential matter. The first thing you should do is seek medical attention as soon as possible. Based on the severity of your injuries, you can visit your GP, a minor injuries unit or your local A&E. If you suffered severe trauma, it might be better to call an ambulance at the accident scene. Your medical records will serve as proof if you decide to make a faulty work equipment claim at a later date.
Once you are out of danger to your health and safety, you should collect as much evidence as possible. That could include taking photographs of the defective equipment, gathering contact details of witnesses, and reporting your injury to your employer.
Another essential step in making a compensation claim is to contact a personal injury solicitor as quickly as possible. You can do this by calling 0800 678 1410 or using our online claim form. They will offer you a free case assessment and determine whether you have a valid claim. If you are entitled to compensation, your solicitor will gather all the details of your case and contact the defendant to inform them of your intentions.
If the other side admits liability, your solicitor will negotiate your compensation award with them or their insurer. If they deny liability, your lawyer will be ready to issue court proceedings and argue your case before a judge using all the available evidence. The chances your case will go to court are very slim, as more than 95% of all claims settle without a trial. If your claim is successful, you should receive your compensation within four weeks.
What evidence do I need to make a claim for injury compensation?
If you want to start a personal injury compensation claim, you will need as much evidence as possible to prove the following:
- How the accident at work occurred
- That it was due to defective work equipment
- The injuries and losses you suffered due to the accident
- How these have affected your life and financial situation
Your solicitor will review all the evidence you already have and help you gather everything you need to be able to claim. Some examples of evidence you could use to maximise your chances of success include:
- Photographs or a video of the accident scene showing any faults in the workplace equipment or machinery that caused your injuries;
- Pictures of visible trauma, such as lacerations, burns, or fractures and of your recovery process;
- Your medical record attesting to the type and severity of your injuries and what caused them;
- A report from an independent medical specialist regarding the long-term effects of your injuries and future care needs;
- Details of how you were using the equipment, who it belonged to and maintenance records;
- A copy of an accident book entry to prove the date, time and location of the incident and any reports made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE);
- Contact details of witnesses who saw how the accident took place and can give a statement to support your claim if the other party denies liability;
- Any CCTV footage if the incident was captured on security cameras;
- Your notes about how you were injured at work due to defective equipment and how this has affected your life;
- You also need to provide evidence of all the financial losses and expenses you incurred in the form of bank statements, payslips, receipts or invoices.
Common injuries caused by unsafe equipment and machinery
Defective equipment or machinery can contribute to various injuries, ranging from minor to severe. The most common ones seen in work equipment claims include:
- Cuts and lacerations caused by defective blades, sharp edges, or inadequate guarding on machinery;
- Crush injuries caused by poorly maintained or malfunctioning machinery and lack of safety features;
- Amputations due to lack of proper machine guarding and inadequately maintained equipment, which may cause fingers, hands, or other body parts to get caught in moving parts;
- Burns can also be due to malfunctioning equipment, electrical issues, or contact with hot surfaces;
- Electric shocks because of faulty wiring, damaged electrical equipment or lack of proper insulation;
- Fractures, head and back injuries due to falls caused by unstable or poorly maintained tools, lack of fall protection measures, or damaged personal protective equipment;
- Struck-by injuries caused by moving parts of machinery, falling objects from improperly secured machinery, or ejected materials;
- Entanglement injuries due to lack of guarding on moving parts of machinery;
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSI), such as carpal tunnel syndrome, due to equipment that is poorly designed or ergonomically inappropriate;
- Noise-induced hearing loss from the operation of loud machinery without proper hearing protection;
- Respiratory issues can be due to improper ventilation or inhaling hazardous substances due to faulty protective equipment.
These and other injuries could form the basis of a defective equipment claim as long as your employer, a manufacturer, or another party is responsible for them.
Frequently asked questions
If you suffered an injury due to faulty equipment, you may want to start a claim against your employer. Below, we have answered some of the most common questions we receive from claimants. To discuss your case in more detail, please don’t hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 or ask for a call back from an experienced injury solicitor.
How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?
The time limit to start a work equipment claim is three years, starting from the date of your accident or when you became aware of your injuries (date of knowledge). Under the Limitation Act 1980, your case will become statute-barred, and the court will no longer accept it if you do not start legal proceedings within this timeframe. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as:
- There is no time limit if the claimant lacks mental capacity. A litigation friend could represent them in a legal case at any time.
- If the injured person is under 18 when the accident occurs, the time only starts to run on their 18th birthday. From this point, they have three years to claim.
- If you lost a loved one due to a defective work equipment accident, you have three years to claim from the date of their death.
How much compensation could I receive for injuries caused by defective work equipment?
The amount of compensation you could receive in a defective equipment claim will depend on the type and severity of the losses you suffered due to your accident. There are two types of damages that your solicitor will include in your claim to ensure you are fully compensated:
- General damages are awarded for the injuries you suffered and related subjective losses, such as mental anguish, reduced quality of life, scarring, and inability to pursue a hobby or leisure activity.
- Special damages cover the financial aspects of the claim, such as the cost of private medical care, rehabilitation, loss of earnings, medical aids and assistance during recovery. These are based on the evidence you can produce, such as receipts and invoices.
Please refer to our compensation calculator to get a better idea of how much you could receive for an injury caused by defective machinery or faulty equipment in the workplace.
Can I claim work accident compensation on a No Win No Fee basis?
If you are eligible to start a faulty work equipment claim, your solicitor will offer you a 100% no win no fee service. This way, you have no upfront costs, and you can make a compensation claim regardless of your financial situation. Your solicitor will only charge you a percentage of your compensation award if your case is successful. This is called a success fee and can be no more than 25% of your compensation.
As part of your agreement, you will also be protected against the costs of litigation by the After the Event (ATE) insurance your solicitor will take out for you. This policy covers all your fees and disbursements if your case fails, including the defendant’s expenses and solicitor costs.