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A Guide To Compensation For Defective Work Equipment Injury Claims

By Cat Way. Last Updated 6th March 2024. Welcome to our guide to defective work equipment injury claims. As an employee, it is not unreasonable to expect that the equipment provided by your employer to perform your duties is in good condition, appropriate for the job and safe for use.

Sadly, this is not always the case. Many employers fail to carry out the required routine checks, servicing and repairs of their equipment. In turn, this can lead to accidents and life-threatening injuries for the employees.

This guide is designed to help you understand all the requirements and steps needed in order to win defective work equipment injury claims.. If you still have further questions or need clarification on any matter, you can get in touch with us in a number of ways. If it’s deemed you have a valid personal injury claim regarding injuries caused by faulty equipment in the workplace, we could connect you with a specialist solicitor who works with 100% of their clients under a No Win No Fee arrangement.

  • You can call us on 0800 073 8804
  • Check the validity of your potential claim online by filling out the form on our website
  • Alternatively, chat to us using the pop-up window in the bottom right

Worker lying on the floor after a defective work equipment accident caused them an injury.

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When Could You Claim For Injuries Caused By Defective Work Equipment?

According to the Health and Safety Executive, Britain’s regulatory body for health and safety in the workplace, work equipment is any appliance, apparatus, tool, installation or machinery whether used exclusively at work or not. According to the Employer’s Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969, this could include any plant and machinery, clothing, vehicles or aircraft.

It is your employer’s responsibility under The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 to ensure that all equipment for work is safe for its intended purpose. This could include regular maintenance checks and ensuring everything is installed correctly.

Some examples of defective work tools or equipment could include:

  • A ladder missing a part, making it unstable.
  • A forklift with a broken overhead guard, meaning loads could topple onto the driver.
  • Generators with electrical issues that could cause burns or shocks.

To be able to make a personal injury claim following a workplace accident, you must be able to prove:

  1. Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  2. They breached this duty. For example, they did not regularly maintain workplace equipment and machinery.
  3. This breach caused you to suffer an injury.

Contact our advisors today to see whether you could make an accident at work claim.

What Kinds Of Injuries Could Defective Work Equipment Cause?

There are many different kinds of injuries that could be caused by defective work equipment, including:

  • Electric Shock Injuries: Electrical shocks at work are mostly caused by malfunctioning equipment, failure to wear adequate protective clothing, electrical power running through machines, the poor wiring of the equipment or failure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding setup and use of equipment.
  • Burn injuries: Faulty, overused or poorly maintained work equipment can get very hot or blow up during use, exposing the employee to the risks of burn injuries.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries are injuries that affect the muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • Crush Injuries: Accidents caused by defective work equipment can crush parts of your body.
  • Back Injuries: You may also suffer from back or spinal injuries from faulty equipment that cause you to fall from a height. A typical example is when you fall from a defective ladder.
  • Permanent Disability: Sometimes, the injuries sustained from accidents caused by defective work equipment could lead to amputation or permanent disability.

In any of these cases, you may be able to make claims against those responsible for your accident. If you feel like your own type of injury is not mentioned in this guide, you can talk to our lawyers, and they can let you know if and how you can make claims for your injury.

What Evidence Do You Need For Defective Work Equipment Injury Claims?

In order to make a defective work equipment injury claim, you must be able to provide evidence that your employer breached their duty of care and that this breach caused you harm. Evidence can also show how and why the accident happened, as well as the severity of your injuries and the ways in which they will affect your life going forwards.

Some examples of evidence that you could use to support an accident at work claim could include:

  • Video footage: This can include CCTV footage of the accident, or other footage from someone’s personal device. For example, if you fall from scaffolding, CCTV footage may show the cause of the accident. 
  • Photographs: Taking photographs of the accident site or of your injuries can help illustrate what happened and the harm you sustained.
  • Medical records: Your medical records could be used to help demonstrate what injuries you sustained, the length of treatment needed, and the recovery period.
  • Witness statements: By taking the contact details of witnesses, this allows their statements to be taken at a later date.
  • Accident book logs: Any workplace with ten or more employees must have an accident book. By logging your accident, this creates a permanent and official record of what happened and how. 

One of the many benefits of choosing to work with a No Win No Fee solicitor on your case is that they can help you gather relevant evidence. To find out if you could be eligible to work with one of our solicitors, get in touch with our team of advisors today.

How Much Can I Claim for an Injury Caused by Defective Work Equipment?

As mentioned earlier in the article, defective work equipment injury claims can be comprised of more than one figure. You could claim under general damages and potentially also special damages. This section focuses on general damages. General damages is calculated to compensate you for the level of pain and suffering your injuries have caused you.

Legal professionals can turn to a few key resources to assist them in this process. As well as medical evidence, a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is also used. We’ve included some entries below as an example from the latest edition of the JCG. It received its last update in 2022.

Poor equipment at work, or even defective equipment, could potentially create hazards that lead to employees being harmed. The examples below are only a small sample of injuries you could potentially claim for. It’s also important to note that the amounts shown are guidelines only, so what you see below is not a guarantee.

InjurySeverityGuideline Compensation AmountComments
Multiple serious injuries and special damagesSeriousUp to £1,000,000+An award for sustaining more than one serious injury and what the injuries have cost through medical bills, lost earnings, care costs etc.
ParalysisTetraplegia (a)£296,140 to £493,000Upper and lower body paralysis.
Paraplegia (b)£267,340 to £346,890Lower body paralysis.
Brain damageVery severe (a)£344,150 to £493,000Cases include 'locked-in' syndrome paired with a significantly reduced life expectancy.
Moderate (c) (ii)£110,720 to £183,190Where the prospect of employment is greatly reduced and there is a moderate to modest intellectual deficit.
Amputation of armsLoss of both arms (a)£293,850 to £366,100Where a person with full awareness is reduced to a state of considerable helplessness.
Loss of one arm (b) (iii)£117,360 to £133,810Below-elbow amputation.
LegAmputations (a) (iii)£127,930 to £167,760Above-knee amputation of one leg.
Amputations (a) (iv)£199,570 to £162,290Below-knee amputation of one leg.

If you’d like a bespoke valuation of your claim, get in touch. We can even guide you through how much the special damages portion of your claim could be worth.

How Long Do I Have To Claim For An Accident At Work Due To Faulty Equipment?

As per the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit on accident at work claims such as these is generally 3 years. This means that you should begin your claim within 3 years of the accident that caused your injuries. However, your injuries may only become apparent at a date later than the accident. If so, you can acquire evidence such as medical records to use this alternative date as the beginning of your 3-year time limit. This is known as the “date of knowledge”.

There can be other scenarios where the time limit to claim may be extended. For instance, if the claimant who was injured due to faulty equipment was under the age of 18, their time limit is suspended until their 18th birthday. It can also be suspended in cases of adult claimants suffering from a reduced mental capacity.

In either scenario, a litigation friend can be appointed to claim on their behalf during the suspended period.

An hour glass depicting time limits for Defective Work Equipment Injury Claims

If you’d like to find out more about whether or not you could still make faulty work equipment claims outside of the standard 3-year time window, get in touch with our advisors today.

Start Your Faulty Equipment Claim With Our No Win No Fee Solicitors.

If you have an eligible faulty equipment claim, you could be connected with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. Working with one of our specialist solicitors can have many benefits as they will be able to:

  • Gather the evidence needed to support your faulty work equipment claim.
  • Correspond with your employer or their insurer.
  • Arrange an independent medical assessment so that your injuries can be evaluated.
  • Calculate the correct amount of compensation for your claim.
  • Keep you updated with any progress while you recover from your injuries.
  • Represent you in court if your faulty work equipment claim needs to be heard there.

All of our specialist solicitors work under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement.

Working with a solicitor under these terms means:

  • There will be no upfront fees needed for your solicitor’s work.
  • There will be no ongoing fees needed for your solicitor’s work.
  • If the faulty work equipment claim fails, there will be no fees for the work your solicitor has completed.

Should your claim succeed, your solicitor will take a success fee. This is a legally capped percentage of your compensation. This cap helps to ensure that you always receive the larger amount of your award.

Contact Us

To learn more about our solicitors and how they could help you, get in touch with one of our friendly advisors. They can help evaluate your claim through a free consultation, answer any questions you may have, and may be able to connect you with one of our solicitors. To get started:

Helpful Links

How To Request The CCTV Footage Of Your Accident – If the accident that caused your injuries was captured on CCTV, you have a legal right to request the footage.

What Is A Litigation Friend? – Find out about the process of naming someone else over the age of 18 to pursue defective work equipment injury claims on someone else’s behalf.

The Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974 – This is a link to section 2 of this piece of legislation. It covers things like your employer’s duty of care they legally owe to you.

Below, you can find lots of guides on claiming compensation for a workplace accident:

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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