Faulty work equipment claims

We all expect that the equipment or tools we use to do our jobs is fit for purpose. It should be safe, in good working order and perform the task it is designed for without any fuss.

This is the case for most of the time but, unfortunately there are occasions when something goes wrong which results in an injury. This injury can be serious even life threatening.

In many cases it has a life changing effect on the person concerned which also impacts upon the family. The consequences of an accident due to faulty equipment can be traumatic.

If you are employed in a capacity where you operate machinery and have been injured due to a fault then you may be entitled to compensation.

Types of work equipment

This is a wide ranging area which varies according to the work environment. Examples include power tools, collapsible platforms, safety harnesses, ladders and scaffolding.

These are used within industrial environments but equipment used in offices can also cause accidents if found to be defective. These include workstations, computers, printers and even kitchen appliances such as kettles and toasters.

The term ‘equipment’encompasses tools, apparatus, appliances and processing machinery.

What tends to cause an injury is the action taken to use the equipment such as starting or stopping a piece of machinery, holding a power tool, e.g. drill or cleaning a part of equipment.

This is more then likely to happen if the equipment is broken, rusted, weakened or missing an essential component.

Employer responsibility

Employers have a duty of care to their employees which includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that they are safeguarded against the risk of an accident. This also includes displaying health and safety information and providing suitable training and protective clothing.

Other safety measures include:

  • Carry out regular risk assessments on machinery and equipment.
  • Carry out regular checks and maintenance of machinery and equipment.
  • Ensure that all employees receive suitable training in using machinery or equipment.
  • Ensure that employees are aware of the risks of a piece of machinery which is considered to be dangerous following a risk assessment.
  • Replace faulty machinery or equipment

Machinery which is known to be particularly hazardous must be inspected on a regular basis. This is especially important if it is used in extreme environments.

If there is a failure in implementing any of these safety measures or they are inadequate then this puts employees at serious risk of an accident and injury.

The effects of this can be catastrophic.

Effects of faulty work equipment

Injuries caused by defective machinery can range from relatively mild through to serious or fatal. In regard to fatalities: there have been cases where someone has died due to faulty equipment which has a devastating effect on their family.

Examples of this include electrocution; being trapped inside a piece of machinery which causes a crush injury or a broken bone due to a defective collapsible platform.

A serious injury such as amputation or a fatality is the worst case scenario.

If you have sustained an injury from using defective equipment then the physical and mental effects cannot be underestimated. This is a life changing experience which impacts upon you and your family’s day to day living.

Your family have the distress of your injury to cope with and have to come to terms with your altered circumstances. This causes a great deal of worry and stress.

The injury may be severe to the extent that you are no longer able to work which causes a loss of earnings and any future income. If it means that you are never able to work then this puts a financial strain upon all concerned.

The resulting drop in income impacts upon your standard of living and can cause serious financial hardship.

Other financial stresses include the cost of specialist treatment and care, 24 hour nursing care, rehabilitation, medication and special aids such as a wheelchair.

There is no amount of money which will undo the effects of a devastating injury such as this but it can pay for treatment to help you rebuild your life.

Making a claim for compensation for faulty work equipment

Find a personal injury lawyer, claims firm or solicitor who has expertise in this field. They will have handled many claims such as this and will apply their knowledge and understanding of the complex issues involved.

The issue is that of proving that your employer was at fault and failed to provide sufficient protection against an accident. Evidence will be needed to support your claim.

Take the following actions following an accident at work:

    • Report the accident to your manager, supervisor or someone else in this role.
    • Record your accident in the accident book
    • Make a note of any work colleagues who witnessed your accident.
    • If there have been similar accidents with this piece of equipment then make a note of this.
    • Take photographs of the equipment

All of this will help to strengthen your case.

The lawyer will carry out an initial review of your claim to see what grounds there are for making this claim. They may send someone along with an experienced engineer to your workplace to examine the faulty equipment. This engineer may test this equipment if necessary.

Your lawyer will keep you updated as your claim proceeds and should provide advice and support as and when. He or she should treat your claim with sympathy and understanding especially if your injury has resulted in a life long disability.

For more information about the claims process, visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for faulty work equipment

There is a 3 year time limit for most personal injury claims with a few exceptions.

This 3 year deadline starts from the date of the accident or the initial diagnosis of the illness.

Confirm this with your lawyer or solicitor.

Personal Injury Guide

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