Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations from 6 April 2022.
On 6 April 2022 the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) come into force and amend the 1992 Regulations (PPER 1992).
They extend employers’ and employees’ duties regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) to limb (b) workers.
Under PPER 2022, the types of duties and responsibilities on employers and employees under PPER 1992 will remain unchanged but will extend to limb (b) workers, as defined in PPER 2022.
If PPE is required, employers must ensure their workers have sufficient information, instruction, and training on the use of PPE.
A limb (b) worker will have the duty to use the PPE in accordance with their training and instruction, and ensure it is returned to the storage area provided by their employer.
What is PPE?
PPE is defined in the PPER 1992 as ‘all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects the person against one or more risks to that person’s health or safety, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective’.
Where an employer finds PPE to be necessary after a risk assessment, using the hierarchy of controls explained below, they have a duty to provide it free of charge.
What is a limb (b) worker?
In the UK, section 230(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996’s definition of a worker has 2 limbs:
- Limb (a) describes those with a contract of employment. This group are employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and are already in scope of PPER 1992.
- Limb (b) describes workers who generally have a more casual employment relationship and work under a contract for service – they do not currently come under the scope of PPER 1992.
PPER 2022 draws on this definition of worker and captures both employees and limb (b) workers:
‘“worker” means ‘an individual who has entered into or works under –
(a) a contract of employment; or
(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 to the contract whose status is not by virtue of the contract that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual;
and any references to a worker’s contract shall be construed accordingly.’
Generally, workers who come under limb (b):
- Carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations.
- Only carry out work if they choose to.
- 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 does this mean for employers?
Employees and limb (b) workers.
For Employers with employees and limb (b) workers you need to ensure by the 6th of April 2022 there is no difference in the way PPE is provided for your workers, this means assessing the risk and ensuring suitable PPE is provided when needed.
Employers with only limb (b) workers.
Workers need to be provided with PPE, free of charge by the 6th of April 2022. This means assessing the risk once all other measures within the hierarchy have been taken.
You then need to ensure suitable PPE is:
- 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.
For further support with this amendment to the law, please contact CSC or call 01761 235604.