Updates coming to PPE at work regulations

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Written by: Alcumus
13th February

Who is the PPE at work regulations for?

The update will apply to all employees in the UK in a wide range of sectors and industries.

From 6 April 2022, current PPE regulations are being amended, and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into force. They extend employers’ and employees’ duties regarding personal protective equipment (PPE). The following describes the changes and what this means for employers.

Existing regulations place a duty on every employer in Great Britain to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to ‘employees’ who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work.

The revised regulations define a “worker” as an individual who has entered into or works under:

  • Limb (a) a contract of employment; or
  • Limb (b) any other contract, whether express or implied and (if it is express) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party…

Generally, workers who come under definition limb (b):

  • carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations
  • after 1 month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but not other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice
  • only carry out work if they choose to
  • have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (the contract doesn’t have to be written) and only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work, for example swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontracting)
  • are not in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly)

Please note: these changes do not apply to those who have a ‘self-employed’ status.

What this means for employers

For employers with (a) and (b) workers:

  • By 6 April 2022, you need to ensure that there is no difference in the way PPE is provided to your workers

For employers with just (b) workers:

  • You need to ensure that your workers are provided with PPE free of charge, where required, by 6 April 2022. This means assessing the residual risk once all other measures (such as engineering controls) have been taken.
  • You then need to ensure suitable PPE is:
    • provided
    • compatible
    • maintained
    • correctly stored
    • used properly
  • You will also need to provide training and instruction in its use to all your workers.
  • You cannot charge workers for PPE they require to carry out their work.
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