How to claim compensation for injuries caused by defective machinery at work
If you’ve been forced to use faulty equipment at work or suffered machine accidents, you could be entitled to compensation. Ask our specialist workplace injury lawyers to get your no win, no fee claim started today.
Last updated on February 1st, 2021
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The most important things to remember when making defective machinery at work claims:
- By law, your employer has to provide equipment in good working condition
- You can generally claim up to three years after your accident or injury
- Your workplace injury claim will be assessed on injury type and the impact on your life
- It is your employer’s duty to keep you safe, even if the equipment was hired
- You can claim on a no win, no fee basis.
If your employer has given you defective equipment at work, they are in direct violation of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998). Under this law, your employer must give you access to safe equipment that is in a satisfactory working condition, such as machinery, tools, appliances or mobile equipment. You may be able to make a faulty equipment at work compensation claim if you were injured.
According to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it is your employer’s duty to keep you safe. This extends to providing working equipment. If yours is defective, broken, or even the wrong tool for the job, this could cause an accident. As specialist accident at work solicitors, we can help you claim for defective equipment injuries and accidents.
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What is defective workplace equipment?
Defective workplace equipment could relate to any number of tools, appliances and machinery used in the workplace. It’s broadly defined as any machine, tool or device provided by an employer to help the employee with their job.
‘Using’ the equipment could mean starting and stopping, maintaining, repairing, cleaning, programming, setting, transporting or modifying.
Faulty equipment could result in machine accidents or injuries, ranging from mild to severe.
Some examples of unsafe equipment in the workplace include:
- Handheld tools
- Power tools
- Factory machinery such as presses, tools and drills
- Devices such as elevators
- Ladders and scaffolding
- Safety ropes and appliances
- Kitchen appliances
- Machine guards and stop controls.
It does not necessarily have to be broken equipment that leads to an injury. If your employer has been negligent, for example, leaving potentially dangerous equipment uncovered, this would still contravene health and safety. You could make a no win, no fee claim under the Employer’s Liability Defective Equipment Act.
Risk assessments and training
As part of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your employer must carry out regular risk assessments to ensure your workplace is safe. This includes inspecting equipment – particularly if it is exposed to conditions that may cause damage long-term (bad weather, for example).
Likewise, the equipment should have proper safety guards as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and employees must have adequate personal protective equipment.
It’s also a legal requirement that your employer trains you in how to use the equipment, including making you aware of any risks that could cause a workplace accident. If you’ve had an injury at work due to poor training, you could make a workplace injury compensation claim.
Health and safety laws
There are specific health and safety laws that apply to risk assessments and unsafe equipment. If an employer works with more than five employees, they must have a written health and safety policy, including a risk assessment of any potentially hazardous workplace equipment.
Laws that apply to faulty equipment in the workplace include:
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work Act states that employers have a duty of care to keep you safe, including maintaining equipment and carrying out risk assessments.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations apply specifically to equipment including tools and machinery. Your employer must ensure it is in a safe working condition, regardless of whether or not they own the equipment.
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations state that lifting equipment should be supervised, planned properly, and carried out in a safe manner.
The Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
The Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations offer guidance on maximum allowable pressure and how to assemble pressure equipment in the workplace.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations state that employees who are exposed to hazards should be supplied adequate personal protective equipment.
If your employer has failed to meet these obligations, you may be able to make an unsafe equipment compensation claim on a no win, no fee basis. Our workplace injury solicitors will calculate compensation amounts based on the injury you’ve suffered, and how it has affected your life.
We understand the financial impact of an accident.
In 99% of cases, we recovered more compensation than the insurer’s first offer. We’ll provide financial security with our interim payments wherever possible, meaning you don’t need to rush into an offer that is lower than you’re legally entitled to.
Types of faulty equipment compensation claims
If you’ve had an accident at work or workplace injury because of faulty equipment, you could be entitled to claim compensation. The claim would be made against your employer, and payments would come out of your employer’s liability insurance.
The most common types of workplace equipment compensation claims are machine accidents. The injuries can be mild or severe, affecting the hands, eyes and fingers. You can claim if you were injured and the equipment was faulty, or you were not adequately trained to use it.
An accident at work caused by machinery could include:
- Mechanical failures, for example brake failures on warehouse machinery
- Missed inspections, for example, failure to notice damage caused by weather
- Damaged or absent safety guards on machinery
- Poorly designed equipment that does not meet safety standards
You can also make a claim if you’ve not been trained in risks, do not have the right personal protective equipment, or if an untidy environment causes an accident in the workplace.
Who can claim for an injury caused by unsafe equipment?
You can claim for a faulty equipment injury whether you are a full-time employee, self-employed, or a contractor. If your employer has failed to meet Health and Safety regulations, which has resulted in your injury, you could make a compensation claim.
You could make a compensation claim if your employer has failed to adhere to one or more of these responsibilities:
- Ensuring the workplace equipment is in good working order
- Removing or replacing faulty equipment
- Regularly inspecting equipment that could deteriorate over time
- Training staff to use equipment, including highlighting risks
- Providing appropriate personal protective equipment.
If you believe your employer provided defective equipment which caused your injury, we can help you to make a no win, no fee compensation claim.
What counts as faulty equipment?
You could make a faulty equipment compensation claim if you are made to work with any of the following:
- Unsafe work vehicles
- Defective electric equipment
- Drills and saws without appropriate safety guards
- Old equipment that has not been inspected.
Your employer still has a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to provide a safe working environment – so even a faulty office chair could lead to a personal injury. We would deal with this as a workplace negligence claim, so if you were injured and it wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
You should also be trained to use all workplace equipment, from cleaning equipment to forklift trucks. Lack of training could result in injury, and you could make a claim against your employer’s liability insurance if your workplace is not safe.
There is no need to be apprehensive about making a claim against your employer. By law, they are not allowed to dismiss you or treat you differently for making a defective equipment compensation claim. The compensation comes out of their insurance, so it will not affect the business.
Unlimited legal support.
That’s right, we provide unlimited legal support for our prospective clients. Not sure if you have a claim, or if you even want to make a claim? You can speak with us for as long as you like and as many times as you like. We’ll let you know your legal rights, completely free of charge and with no obligation to make a claim.
Types of injuries caused by faulty equipment
Faulty equipment can lead to all sorts of injuries, ranging from mild short-term damage to severe, life-changing effects. Our expert solicitors will help you to settle your compensation claim based on how badly the injury has affected your life.
Faulty equipment could overheat or catch fire, for example, if the wiring is in bad condition. This could result in minor or severe burns, which may need skin grafts or affect your confidence, particularly if they are visible.
Electric shock injuries
Electric shocks may happen as a result of faulty wiring or inadequate personal protective equipment. The effects may lead to burns, organ damage, cardiac arrest (heart attack) or even death.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries affect your tendons, ligaments and muscles. In extreme cases, they could lead to long-term effects such as disability. You may be able to make a claim if you can prove your workplace has caused a long-term injury.
Other injuries in the workplace could include:
- Back injuries, if you have not had appropriate manual handling training, or you’ve fallen from a height
- Crushing injuries, particularly if you were not trained or the equipment was defective
- Disability and death – unsafe equipment could lead to shocks, falls or crushing injuries that result in life-changing injury or death.
No matter how mild or severe your injury, if you believe that defective equipment led to an accident at work, we can help you with a no win, no fee compensation claim.
What can I claim for?
You can make an unsafe equipment compensation claim based on three things: the seriousness of your injury, any financial losses, and the impact it has had on your life. When our expert solicitor team receive your claim, they will listen to your story and make sure every element is considered, no matter how small.
This includes things like expenses for travelling to hospital appointments, money lost from workplace bonuses, and even psychological damage. We have more than 20 years’ experience settling claims that other personal injury solicitors have turned away, helping to settle millions in compensation. Get in touch with us today if you’ve had an accident at work that wasn’t your fault.
How much is my claim worth?
There is no set compensation amount for machine accidents or unsafe equipment claims. Rather, we assess every element of your claim, for example:
- How much your employer was at fault (this is usually 100%, but sometimes fault can be shared)
- How serious your injury is, for example a short-term fracture or a life-changing injury such as amputation
- The impact it has had on your life, such as loss of earnings or inability to continue with hobbies
- Costs for your treatment, including transport to appointments
- Any changes you need to make to your house or car
- Psychological damage, for example, fear of going to certain places.
Any damage relating to your physical injury is known as ‘general’ damage, whereas loss of earnings or other effects are known as ‘special’ damages. We’ll calculate all of these to ensure you get the most significant compensation amount possible.
As a guideline, you can also refer to the Judicial Board. This relates to physical (general) damages only, but offer example amounts for how much individual injuries may add up to in compensation:
- Injuries to the hands could range from £3,000 to £72,000 for multiple finger loss
- Minor eye injuries start from £3,000, ranging up to £200,000 for sight loss
- Back injuries could range from £2,000 to £100,000 for long-term damage.
Whatever your injury, if you were not at fault, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. If you’ve suffered an accident at work due to faulty machinery, get in touch with us to start your claim.
How long will my claim take?
Compensation claims for accidents at work generally take less time than other claims, such as medical negligence, as there is a shorter review process. We aim to settle all workplace injury claims within six to nine months, though this may take longer if your employer disputes the claim.
In very, very rare cases (less than 1%), claims may go to court, which may delay the process. Please remember that claims take longer because we are doing our best to get you the biggest compensation amounts possible – looking at every side of your case. We’ve won millions of pounds on workplace compensation claims that others have turned down, so it is worth the wait.
In some cases, we may be able to help you with early compensation (interim) payments. These are payments that will help cover costs while you’re waiting for your settlement, for example, if you need to travel to appointments. These will come out of your final compensation total.
What are the time limits to claiming for defective equipment at work?
Generally, you will have three years from the date of the accident at work to make a claim. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have an injury but symptoms did not show up until later on, you may be able to speak to a medical professional and prove that defective equipment caused your injury, or made a pre-existing condition worse.
Other exceptions to the time limits for defective equipment claims are:
- If your accident or injury happened overseas, the time limits may be different. Please ask us if you’re not sure.
- If your injury resulted in you being ‘mentally incapacitated’ (for example if you suffered brain damage), there is no time limit
- If you were under 18, a ‘litigation friend’ can represent you up until your 18th birthday, after which you have three years to make a claim
- If a manufacturing or design fault was found in the equipment, you will have three years to claim from the date the fault was discovered.
We recommend you start a defective equipment workplace injury claim as soon as possible. This helps us to collect the best evidence to support your no win, no fee claim.
How to make a claim
To make a defective machinery compensation claim, you’ll need to call us within three years of the injury – though the sooner, the better.
- The process starts with a consultation call. Our expert solicitors will ask you for the details surrounding your case, and you will be asked to present as much evidence as you can. We can help you source this evidence if you’re not sure (see below).
- Once we have all your evidence, our trained personal injury solicitors will start to make a claim against your employer. We will assess your injury, your loss of earnings and the impact it’s had on your life, then we will attempt to make a claim against your employer’s liability insurance.
- If we’re successful, you’ll be awarded your compensation. We operate our claims on a no win, no fee basis, so you’ll only pay our fees if we win. While you’re waiting for your settlement, we may also be able to offer your early compensation payments to tide you over. These will come out of the final settlement.
What information do I need to make a broken equipment claim?
To claim for an injury caused by workplace equipment, you need to be able to prove two things – that you were injured, and that your employer was at fault. Our no win, no fee solicitors can advise you on how to collect evidence such as:
- Medical reports
- Witness statements
- CCTV/photo evidence
- Equipment inspection or training records
- Receipts for travel or expenses incurred.
We may also ask our trained medical professional to review your injuries. Please do not be alarmed by this – they will write a report that could support your case. In some cases, your employer may also ask you to take a medical as part of their duty of care.
Why choose us?
The Express Solicitors team has more than 20 years’ experience handling no win, no fee accident at work claims. We’ve processed millions of pounds of compensation for cases that were turned away by other firms. If you’re looking for expert solicitors who will listen to your story and go above and beyond, speak to the Express Solicitors team.