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PPE Regulations to Change From 6th April 2022

Personal Protective Equipement - boots, mask, glasses, helmet, gloves, ear defenders, high vis jacketThe Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at work regulations are changing. As of 6th April 2022, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) will come in to force. This is an amendment to the 1992 Regulations. They stipulate that the duties of both the employer and employees regarding PPE will be extended to include limb (b) workers.

What are the Current PPE Regulations?

Currently, if PPE is required in order for employees to carry out their work activity, then employers have a duty to ensure that employees have access to suitable PPE with enough information, instruction and training on how to use it, that it is well maintained, and suitable storage areas are provided.

The amended regulations stipulate that this duty now extends to include limb (b) workers.

What is a Limb (a) and Limb (b) Worker?

The Health and Safety Executive defines these 2 types of limb workers as per the Employment Rights Act 1996:

“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”

However, the changes do not apply to those who have ‘self-employed’ status.

What does this Change mean in Practice for the Employer?

In practice for the employer this means that they will have the same responsibilities for limb (b) workers as they currently do for limb (a) workers. If a risk assessment shows that a limb (b) worker requires PPE to fulfil their work activities, then a PPE suitability assessment must be carried out. PPE must be provided free of charge to limb (b) workers as it has been for limb (a) workers.

Employers will need to provide suitable PPE along with maintenance, storage and replacement.

What do the Regulation Changes mean for a Limb (b) Worker?

Limb (b) workers will now need to use the PPE properly, follow any training and instruction given by the employer and report if they lose any items or it becomes broken or defective.

Need Additional Support due to this Regulation Change?

This amendment to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations will affect many sectors where casual labour or irregular workers are used. In particular we can see this affecting the construction as well as the wholesale and distribution industries.

If your business is going to be significantly affected by these regulation changes, our team of experienced consultants are here to support and advise you please feel free to contact us or call 01666 503 686.