February 19, 2020
According to the brain injury association Headway, head protection only accounts for 3% of personal protective equipment purchases, yet over 20% of injuries are head injuries. A head injury can be life changing for not only the individual but also their relatives, therefore when working in construction it is vital that appropriate head protection is provided and worn properly.
An employer is required to abide by the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations and ensure suitable protective equipment is provided to employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety at work. The Health and Safety Executive state that on almost all construction sites there is a risk of head injury despite controls being put in place, and where these risks exist suitable head protection must be provided by the employer and worn by all employees exposed to that risk. For example, where there are falling objects or hazards you may hit your head on whilst working.
It is therefore of paramount importance that those working in industries such as construction ensure their employer has provided them with the appropriate personal protective equipment needed for their role. Suitable head protection should:
- Be in good condition. If it is damaged it should be replaced.
- Fit and be worn properly
- Obtained from a reputable supplier; currently in the UK a hard hat must be manufactured to the European BS EN 397 standard. This should be checked by the employer when they source the equipment.
Spencers Solicitors and Head Injuries at work
Spencers are expert accident at work claim solicitors. Our personal injury lawyers have many years’ experience of helping those who have suffered injury at work to recover the maximum compensation possible. Employers have a duty to look after the wellbeing of their workers. No-one should go to their workplace and leave it having suffered an accident that the employer should have prevented.
There are plenty of rules and regulations aimed at ensuring that employers adhere to satisfactory safety at work standards.
Spencers were successful in a claim where the client suffered a head injury at work where the employer had failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, namely a hard hat. The client had only been working for a matter of days for the employer on a construction site.
The client was not provided with a hard hat and although he had seen some on site, few colleagues wore them, and he was never told it was compulsory. The client also had to source other protective equipment themselves including safety boots and a high visibility jacket.
The injury occurred when the client asked a scaffolder if it was safe to walk down the walkway under where they were working. He was told it was safe and proceeded. A scaffolding pole fell from over a 5-metre height, hitting the client on the head. As a result, he suffered significant brain injury and hemi-paresis (one-sided weakness and paralysis). The injury had a huge life changing impact on the client as well as his family, as he could no longer care for himself or his children independently.
The employer was liable for failing to conduct an adequate risk assessment or a formal safety induction.
The Claimant was awarded a substantial sum of £1,342,754 for the harm suffered. This will enable the clients care needs to be met in the future and ease the burden on his family.
As a corporate member of Headway and as personal injury specialists, Spencers Solicitors has proven experience in dealing with head injury claims; they can be contacted on 08000 93 00 94 or online.
About the Author
Amber Cooke, a placement student from Sheffield Hallam University currently working within the Serious Injury Team to gain work experience alongside studying for her Law Degree.