As of 6th April 2022, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 2022 will extend employers’ PPE duties, requiring them to provide appropriate equipment for free to casual workers, who were not previously covered under the same regulations that have been in force since 1992.
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations places a duty on all employers to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to all employees who may be exposed to risks to their health & safety at work.
PPE includes all equipment, including clothing that provides protection against the weather, worn or held by a person at work, which protects them against any risks to their health or safety. Regulations state that employers must undertake a risk assessment for all workers to ensure the correct PPE is provided, and it must be free of charge. PPE must also be appropriately maintained and stored, and the correct training given to workers to ensure it is used properly.
The idea of these legislative changes is to extend the Health & Safety responsibilities of employers when it comes to PPE in order to take into account a broader definition of ‘worker’ and require employers to provide PPE to these workers at no cost.
As a result, the regulations now take into account those workers who:
Have a contract of employment - These are ‘employees’ who are covered by Section 2 of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 and also by the existing PPE regulations. There are no changes to the duties to employees under the amendments, therefore employers must continue to provide employees with PPE in line with the risks identified within their risk assessments, at no cost.
May not have a formalised contract of employment - The regulations now account for workers who may not have a formalised contract of employment and who are engaged in a more ‘casual’ way.
To summarise the main reason for these changes to legislation, all workers must now be provided with PPE and trained on using that PPE, unless they are genuinely self-employed.
More information about the PPE legislation changes and definitions can be found on the HSE website.
To see how CSS PPE & Workwear can help you cover these changes to the legislation, please visit our dedicated PPE website by clicking here.