07 May 2020

Personal protective equipment – your rights

With the NHS under strain and key workers complaining of equipment deficiencies, what are your rights when it comes to PPE?

When we look back on this crisis, the issue of personal protective equipment, known as PPE, could well be the defining issue of how the UK government responded to the pandemic. We can hardly watch the news without new revelations about doctors and nurses struggling to access PPE or resorting to makeshift homemade masks.

There are many other people across dozens of industries – from food supply to military and council provisions – that need access to PPE. While many employers are exemplary, there are some who will inevitably fall short of what employees deserve.

Know your rights

But what is PPE in the eyes of the law – and what are your rights?

PPE is defined within the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 as ‘all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work which protects him [or her] against one or more risks to his health or safety’.

According to the regulations, every employer is responsible for providing suitable PPE where an employee’s health and safety is at risk. The type of PPE should be properly risk-assessed, maintained and kept in good repair.

Employers must also ensure staff are provided with information on why the PPE is required, how to use the PPE and what risks to health or safety the PPE is intended to avoid or limit.

If an employer fails to comply with the regulations, and this leads to an employee suffering injury, then that employee may be entitled to compensation for the injuries suffered.

Just ask

If you believe you’ve suffered injury due to your employer’s failure to comply with the regulations, or if you have any further questions about PPE then please contact Nick Shaw on 01522 515964 or at nick.shaw@wilkinchapman.co.uk

Accident Claims Helpine

You can also contact our Personal Injury Department for queries using our freephone Accident Claims Helpline on 0800 183 8483.

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