Accidents at work involving dangerous machinery and faulty work equipment
Accidents at work involving machinery and work equipment are a common cause of injury. If you have suffered an injury whilst using work equipment or machinery you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
What is ‘work equipment’?
Work equipment is any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation used at work. This covers a very wide range of equipment from heavy machinery on a construction site to a simple pen used in an office. Work equipment includes:
- electronic equipment
- electrical equipment
- power tools and hand tools
- kitchen equipment
- office equipment
- furniture such as office chairs and desks
- ladders and scaffolding
- vehicles including cars, vans, tractors, fork lift trucks, heavy plant etc
- cleaning equipment
‘Using’ work equipment means any activity involving work equipment and includes starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning the work equipment.
Accidents at work involving use of work equipment or machinery
Accidents and injuries at work involving use of machinery or work equipment can occur in many different ways. Common causes of work equipment accidents include:
- Accidents and injuries caused by faulty or unsafe work equipment -For example a crush injury caused as a result of a missing or inadequate guard on a factory machine or an electric shock or burn caused by faulty electrical equipment.
- Falls from height due to defective or unsuitable ladders, working platforms or scaffolding – In many cases falls can occur because the equipment is unsuitable for the work being carried out such as over-reaching on an unsuitable ladder
- Injuries caused by sharp edges or broken parts on work equipment
- Injuries sustained whilst using work equipment without proper protection – This could include hearing loss caused by working with noisy equipment without adequate ear protection or burns or scalds caused by contact with hot parts of work equipment
- Work accidents and injuries caused by lack of proper training to use work equipment -Employers must provide proper training to staff to ensure that they understand how to use and operate the work equipment safely
- Injuries caused by the unsafe use of work equipment – Work equipment may be in a good working order but it may result in injury to a worker if it is used in the wrong way. Employers have a duty to make sure that a safe system of work is in place at all times.
- Workplace injuries caused as a result of unsuitable work equipment – Using the wrong tools for a job can lead to injury. This could be due to lack of proper staff training or due to the fact that unsuitable equipment was provided by the employer.
Employer duties regarding safe use of machinery and work equipment
There are a number of health and safety regulations which place various duties on employers. These rules are designed to ensure that workers are safe and protected from risks when using work equipment.
Different rules and regulations apply depending upon the type of work, place of work and the type of equipment. The main duties of an employer are to:
- provide the correct type of work equipment which is suitable and safe for the job
- properly maintain and safety inspect work equipment
- carry out regular risk assessments and identify any risks that the employee may be subjected to when using work equipment
- provide proper training and information to any employee using equipment at work
ensure that the work equipment is fitted with suitable safety features (for example emergency stop controls, guards, warning signs etc)
- provide suitable protective equipment for employees using work equipment – such as safety footwear, safety goggles, ear protectors, safety helmets, protective gloves etc
Claiming compensation for work equipment injuries
If you have been injured as a result of dangerous machinery or injured whilst using work equipment you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
We have over 20 years experience in dealing with workplace injury and accident at work claims. Contact us for a free assessment of your case. We will discuss your case and answer any questions you may have.