Common Injuries

Faulty or poorly designed Work Equipment can cause Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) which causes muscular strain and nerve disorders. For Example, damaged, worn out, blunt or less effective manual Work Equipment where alternative Work Equipment could have been considered for the Work to be more Health and Safety in the Workplace compliant E.g. hammers, screwdrivers, spanners, knives, saws, and scissors are typical Work Equipment that cause you to have an Accident in a Workplace or result in an RSI, if the Work Equipment is in appropriate, not regularly maintained or replaced.

Defective Work Equipment can also include what could be considered as not so obvious risks at work involving regular everyday objects at work, for example a desk or a computer that is incorrectly positioned which subjects your body to excessive stress and strain or even electrical appliances, from a defective power tool down to a kettle that has caused you an electric shock or superficial burns.

Injuries from Defective Equipment often involve fractures, lacerations, muscular or nerve damage  to the wrists, arms or legs caused by a fall from height. An absence of suitable protective guards on tools or pieces of machinery that can lead to crush injuries, deep cuts, lacerations and amputations and other fatal accidents.

Bodily contact with sharp edges and surfaces with extremes of temperature can cause abrasions, lacerations and burns

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Legal Information

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and 1992 apply to all work equipment and defines work equipment.

  • “Work Equipment” is defined as meaning ‘any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or and any assembly of components which, in order to achieve a common end, are arranged and controlled so that they function as a whole.
  • The “Use” in relation to the Work Equipment is defined as “any activity involving Work Equipment and includes starting, stopping, programming, setting, transporting, repairing, modifying, maintaining, servicing and cleaning” and related expressions shall be construed accordingly;

Accidents that can occur as a result of Faulty Equipment can be from poorly designed Work Equipment, Inappropriate Work Equipment, poorly maintained Work Equipment or an unwillingness by your Employer to upgrade old or damaged Work Equipment.

Your Employer has to ensure that all work equipment is maintained in an efficient working state and of good repair and working order. Work Equipment also has to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided. Inspections of Work Machinery Equipment are required for some Machines that expose an obvious Risk of deterioration and a Risk of Injury.

Maintenance Records should be retained by your Employer to demonstrate that the Work Machinery Equipmentis adequately checked and maintained regularly.

Your Employer has to take steps to minimise the Risk of any effect that Work Machinery Equipment may have on an your Health and Safety and to ensure that you are adequately trained on using the Machinery Work Equipment. The aim of the Risk assessment is to establish an effective system of 'Preventive and Protective Measures' to safeguard you and other Employees.

You are also entitled to be notified of the potential risks to your Health and Safety as identified in the Risk Assessment.

The Regulations require Employers to provide their Employees with 'comprehensible and relevant information' on:

  • the Risks to their Health & Safety identified in the Risk Assessment
  • the Preventative and Protective Measures
  • the Procedures for Serious and Imminent Danger
  • the People appointed to take charge for such procedures
  • Any Risks notified to the Employer by other Employees occupying the same premises

The Employer’s Liability (Defective Equipment) Act 1969  introduced the presumption of Employer's Liability in any case of Defective Equipment Injury regardless of the Employer’s Prior Knowledge.

In addition to the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulation 1998, and other specialist regulations can also be applicable for accidents that result from Inadequate, Faulty or Defective Work Equipment . The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 refers to the Strength, Stability, Positioning and Lifting etc of Work Equipment and Loads.

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Risk Assessment

The Assessment your Employer is obliged to carry out is referred to as a Risk Assessment. This has to be carried out by your Employer to identify any potential risks of Health and Safety taking into account Working Conditions, Risks caused by premises and the undertaking of the work in question by you as well as the Specific Use of the Work Equipment concerned. This requires Employers to make arrangements to cover 'Effective Planning, Organisation, Control, Monitoring and Review' of Health and Safety. Where an Employer Employs five or more Employees, the Employer must record these details in writing. This is often known as the Health & Safety Policy document. This document is a Specific Document that is required by the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. Risk Assessments must also take special account of any particular risks to young people

Defective Equipment can also cause injuries where the body is struck by the material being worked on, or by a part of the actual Work Equipment or even another Employee operating the Defective Work Equipment.

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