By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 14th July 2023. In this article, we’ll look at the question, “are employers required to pay for steel toe boots?”.
This guide aims to answer important questions, such as “does my UK employer have to provide safety boots?”. If you work in a role that requires PPE, like safety boots, and your employer has not supplied them, you could be injured as a result and be able to receive compensation. If it is a part of ensuring your safety in the workplace, your employer should pay for boots because it could otherwise be considered negligence on their behalf.
As well as looking at what could justify a personal injury claim, we’ll explain how the claims process works and what amount of compensation you could receive. If you have any questions about claiming for injuries caused by your employer’s negligence, you can use our live chat service as you read this guide.
If you are contemplating making a claim, why not speak with our team? Our advisors provide a no-obligation review of your case and will give free legal advice, too. Should your claim have the grounds to proceed, we could pass it to one of our panel of personal injury lawyers. Importantly, they’ll try to reduce the stress involved with claiming as well as your financial risk by providing a No Win No Fee service if your claim is taken on.
You can call us on 0800 408 7825 right away. If you would rather learn more about inadequate foot protection injury claims before calling, please read on.
Select A Section
- Are Employers Required To Pay For Steel Toe Boots?
- What PPE Are Employers Required To Provide?
- Is It A Legal Requirement To Wear Steel Toe Boots?
- How Do You Choose The Best Safety Footwear?
- Steel Toe Safety Boots – What Could Happen Without Them
- What Is My Foot Or Toe Injury Worth?
- Safety Boots And PPE Claims – Get Help From A No Win No Fee Lawyer
- Further Reading On Are Employers Required To Pay For Steel Toe Boots
Employers have a duty of care towards the wellbeing and welfare of their employees while they are at work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces several laws relating to workplace safety. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll concentrate on the Personal Protective Equipment Act 1992.
PPE is defined in the act as any equipment that protects staff from risks in the workplace. Importantly, PPE should only be used as a last resort. Ideally, the employer will implement other measures to reduce risks following a risk assessment of the workplace.
However, where PPE is required, the employer must:
- Ensure it’s appropriate for its intended use. It should be fitted properly, conform to design standards and protect against the risks involved.
- Make sure it is maintained and stored properly.
- Train staff on how to use the PPE correctly.
- Pay for the PPE and provide it where needed. Staff cannot be asked to pay for PPE themselves.
So, the answer to the question, “are employers required to pay for steel toe boots?”, is yes if there is a risk to staff that cannot be mitigated in any other way. Therefore, if you’ve suffered toe or foot injuries because protective footwear was not provided or it was not adequate, you could be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries.
Time Limits For Accident At Work Claims
We should point out that accident at work claims are bound by time limits. In most cases, you will have 3-years to begin your claim. Generally, this will begin on the date your foot injury was sustained. There are some exceptions to this rule though.
For example, you might need PPE to protect you from exposure to harmful dust and other materials. If this PPE is not adequate, it could cause lung disease.
This disease may not be apparent straight away, and it could take some time for your symptoms to develop. Therefore, the time limit would begin when you became aware that your injuries were caused by negligence.
What PPE Are Employers Required To Provide?
Let’s take a look at some types of PPE that employers may need to provide to keep staff safe at work. This is not a complete list, but some common items include:
- Steel toe boots.
- Helmets and protective headgear.
- Eye protection.
- Safety gloves.
- Hi-vis jackets.
- Protective masks or respirators.
- Safety harnesses.
Additionally, it is not acceptable for these items to be stored away on the premises. Instead, they must be readily accessible and in good working order. If you’re wondering “are employers required to pay for steel toe boots?” you can speak with our team for free legal advice.
Is It A Legal Requirement To Wear Steel Toe Boots?
Having answered the question “are employers required to pay for steel toe boots?”, the next thing to ask is “when do I have to wear the boots I’m provided?”.
You might think that if your employer provides steel toe boots, you are legally obliged to wear them all of the time. The problem here is that protective boots can be uncomfortable and cause pain According to the HSE, safety footwear only needs to be worn when there is a real danger.
For example, you would need to wear safety boots when the task you’re working on involves:
- Cutting or chopping.
- Heavy machinery.
- Carrying heavy loads.
- Pneumatic drills, jackhammers or concrete breakers.
How Do You Choose The Best Safety Footwear?
Protective footwear should be suitable for the task at hand. Therefore, employers should review the exact nature of the task when choosing protective equipment.
For example, they may wish to provide steel toe cap boots for construction roles but for roles in a factory, they might choose shoes with anti-slip protection.
If you have any concerns about the type of protective footwear you’ve been provided with, the first thing to do is discuss them with your employer.
Steel toe cap boots are designed to keep your feet safe from certain hazards, as mentioned earlier in this guide. Without steel toe safety boots, you could suffer an injury to your feet. The types of injuries you could suffer without steel toed boots could vary in severity. Laceration injuries and penetrating wounds could cause an infection.
Other foot injuries include:
If you do suffer a foot injury at work, you should:
- Report it in the accident book and ask for a copy of the accident report.
- Photograph the accident scene and the damage caused.
- Seek medical treatment. Your medical records could be used later to support your claim.
- Take contact details from any witnesses.
- See if CCTV footage is available.
By doing so, you’ll improve your chances of winning compensation as you’ll have some evidence that could help during your claim.
If you’ve suffered a broken foot or any other injury because you weren’t given suitable protective footwear, why not call to see whether you have a valid compensation claim? You could be offered free legal advice and, if your claim is valid, connected with a solicitor from our panel.
There are two types of damages you could claim for as part of a successful personal injury claim. General damages are based on the extent of your injury and how badly it has negatively affected your life. The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) can provide you with more insight into the general damages compensation you could receive. Legal professionals often use these guidelines to give clients a better idea of what their injury could be worth.
The below figures are taken from the latest JCG publication (published in 2022) and are based on successful court cases from Wales and England. Please remember that these figures are only meant as guidance. They are not guaranteed.
|Workplace Injury||Severity Level||Settlement Bracket||Further Details|
|Foot||Amputation (b)||£83,960 to £109,650||Covers the amputation of a single foot.|
|Foot||Severe (d)||£41,970 to £70,030||An example in this category is where both heels are fractured resulting in permanent and considerable pain as well as restricted mobility.|
|Foot||Moderate (f)||£13,740 to £24,990||Covers displaced metatarsal fractures that cause continuing symptoms and some deformity.|
|Toes||Amputation (a)||£36,520 to £56,080||Covers injuries that result in the amputation of all toes on one foot.|
|Toes||Amputation (b)||In the region of £31,310||This category is used where the great (big) toe is amputated.|
|Toes||Serious (d)||£9,600 to £13,740||Includes serious injury to the great toe or crush injuries or multiple fractures of two or more toes.|
|Toes||Moderate (e)||Up to £9,600||Covers relatively straightforward fractures or lacerations of the toes.|
Injuries From A Lack Of Work Safety Boots – Special Damages
Your compensation payout may also include special damages. This head of damages in personal injury claims recovers any costs incurred as a direct result of injuries suffered when your employer failed to provide suitable work safety boots.
- Lost wages. You can present your wage slips to recover your loss of earnings, including pension contributions if you are out of work due to your injuries.
- Wheelchair rental or purchase.
- Travel expenses, such as taxi fares, to your medical appointments.
- Vehicle adaptations.
- Home adaptations, such as stairlift installation if one is needed to cope with your injuries.
Our advisors can give you a free valuation of your claim if you suffered when your employer failed to provide appropriate steel toe shoes. Contact our team today using the details at the top of this page.
If you are eligible to seek compensation for injuries suffered because your employer failed to provide adequate safety boots or PPE, you may like to instruct a lawyer to work on your claim. One of the accidents at work lawyers from our panel could help. They usually use a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to provide their services. This is a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement.
If your workplace accident lawyer supports your claim with this type of agreement, they won’t take a payment upfront for their work on your case. There also aren’t any ongoing fees for this work. Additionally, if your claim proves unsuccessful, you won’t be asked to pay for your lawyer’s services.
However, if the outcome of your claim is successful, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from your award. This fee is a legally capped percentage.
To find out if you are eligible to claim for injuries suffered because your employer did not provide steel toe shoes, speak to an advisor from our team. They are available 24/7 to provide further guidance on the eligibility criteria and personal injury claims process.
To speak to an advisor:
Further Reading On Are Employers Required To Pay For Steel Toe Boots
You have come to the end of this guide about protective boots in the workplace. Therefore, we have used this section to link to some extra resources that may prove useful. If you’d like any further guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Construction Industry Safety Advice – Information from the HSE about safe working practices in building and construction.
Foot Pain– NHS guidance on what to do if you’re suffering from foot pain.
Manufacturing Safety – This HSE guide provides tips on keeping staff safe in the manufacturing industry.
Claiming For An Eye Injury Caused By Welding – Advice on how to claim for an eye injury caused by welding.
Claim For Loss Of Toes – This guide provides more information on claiming for the loss of your toes.
Back Injuries At Work – Details of how to claim if you’ve injured your back at work.
We also have some other guides you may find useful:
- Public accident claims hot spots
- Council slip and trip accidents
- Public transport accidents
- How to make a public liability claim
- Making a claim against the council
- Claiming for a pothole injury
- Making a claim against a shop
- Accidents in a public park
- Cycling accident claims
- Claiming for injuries suffered while shopping
We hope that this guide has answered the question, “are employers required to pay for steel toe boots?”.
Article by RA
Published by ET