Is it possible to claim compensation for a burn from hot equipment in a factory if I was wearing safety gloves? My boss told me he had supplied gloves and had fulfilled his health and safety obligations.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It is possible to claim compensation for a burn from hot equipment in a factory if you sustained burns to your hands while wearing personal protective equipment that was supplied by your employer which was substandard or faulty. If the gloves you were provided failed to offer a sufficient level of protection, you would have been placed at an excessive risk of sustaining a work burn and this could certainly give you grounds for making a claim for a burn from hot equipment in a factory. Although your employer may feel that he has fulfilled his obligations under the government regulations concerning health and safety at work by providing you with safety gloves, simply giving you a pair of gloves does not fulfil his obligations if they were not capable of protecting you from sustaining a work burn.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees are properly protected at work and that all tasks assigned to them can be completed safely. Part of this responsibility includes completing a risk assessment to identify potential hazards in the workplace. Simply determining that factory machinery is hot and safety gloves need to be provided is not sufficient by itself. The safety gloves supplied must be of high quality and offer the appropriate degree of thermal protection. A failure to provide appropriate personal protective equipment such as safety gloves which comply with EN standards would certainly give you grounds for claiming compensation for a burn from hot equipment in a factory.

Safety gloves which offer thermal protection should be marked with an EN407 rating. Gloves which comply with this EN standard are also subdivided into four performance levels, each offering a different degree of protection. An employer must make sure that the correct model of safety gloves is chosen based on the contact temperature they are required to offer protection from.

If your employer has chosen to place your safety at risk by cutting corners to save costs, or has chosen personal protective equipment which did not provide the level of performance for the tasks which you had been assigned, this is classified as negligence and would enable you to make a claim for a burn from hot equipment in a factory. If this was the case, you would be entitled to recover compensation for a burn from hot equipment in a factory against the employee liability insurance policy held by your employer.

We strongly recommend speaking with a personal injury solicitor about recovering compensation for factory equipment burns. Eligibility to make claim for factory equipment burns can be affected by many factors and since your employer is maintaining that he is not liable for your injuries there is a chance that consent for an Injuries Board assessment may be rejected. The legal assistance provided by an experienced personal injury solicitor and assistance with submitting your claim will help to ensure that liability is accepted and that the likelihood of recovering an appropriate compensation settlement for your injuries is increased.