PPE: Protective Clothing For Work

In accident at work compensation claims the courts have now made it clear that they take a very literal interpretation of the safety regulations about protective clothing and that if safety clothing does not provide the protection from injury that it is supposed to achieve then the employer will be liable to pay compensation for the personal injury suffered by the worker.A�The PPE, the protective clothing supplied by companies to its employees, must actually prevent workers from suffering significant injuries.

In the compensation claim of Threlfall v Hull City Council the court noted that the Council had provided Mr Threlfall with protective gloves to wear whilst working lifting sacks of rubbish, however Mr Threlfall still suffered a severe cut injury to his hand.A�The court ruled that the Council was in breach of the safety regulations because the protective gloves supplied to Mr Threlfall were not strong enough and offered inadequate protection against sharp objects.

The Court of Appeal has again taken this view in another accident at work compensation claim relating to an employee suffering injury due to being given unsuitable protective clothing.A�In the compensation claim of Robert Blair v The Chief Constable of Sussex Police, Mr Blair was doing a motorcycle training course and fell over with the motorcycle on top of his lower leg, sustaining a fractured ankle and tibia.A�Mr Blair had been wearing safety boots and the court decided that the boots did not comply with the safety regulations because they had not been effective to prevent Mr Blair suffering significant injury.A�Stronger boots should have been supplied to Mr Blair whilst doing the training course to protect him from suffering serious injury in an accident of the type that happened and therefore the police authority were liable to pay compensation to Mr Blair.

Dangerous Chemicals Used In Kitchens

People may mistakenly think that a kitchen, such as in a hotel or restaurant, is a safe place to work, however it will only be a safe workplace if, like any other workplace, there are safe systems of work in operation to prevent accidents.

In the hospitality industry and working kitchens many different types of irritant, toxic and corrosive cleaning chemicals are used, such as oven cleaners, drain cleaning products, descalers, bleach and disinfectants.A�The owner or manager in charge of the kitchen has a legal responsibility under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (a�?CoSHH Regulationsa��) to ensure that all people working in the kitchen, including part-timer employees, have received adequate safety instructions and training so that they know how to safely use chemical products in the kitchen.

The manufacturers and suppliers of hazardous chemicals are required by law to provide safety information on their products known as safety data sheets.A�A properly stocked first aid box is important in a working kitchen and copies of the safety data sheets should be kept in a folder with the first aid box.A�On every shift in the kitchen there should be staff trained in first aid.

There is no substitute for safety training in using chemicals and what may appear to be an a�?obviousa�� safety issue to an experienced hospitality worker may well not be obvious to a young part-time kitchen assistant.A�Kitchen staff should be given safety instructions and training on how to use cleaning chemicals, such as not to over-spray a chemical, ensure that there is ventilation and air extraction, not to spray caustic oven cleaner on hot surfaces to avoid causingA� harmful fumes, and the correct use of personal protective equipment, such as eye protection, and using the appropriate type of gloves for the task being undertaken.