Employers responsibilities to workers on providing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) are changing from 6th April 2022. The Personal Protective Equipment At Work Regulations 2022 amend the 1992 regulations to extend employers and employees duties in respect of PPE to a wider group of workers.
What are the changes?
Under PPER 2022 the types of duties on employers and employees under PPER 1992 remaining unchanged but will not extend to what is referred to in the regulations as Limb (b) workers.
What’s a limb b worker?
This term describes workers who have a more casual employment relationship and work under a contract for service. They do not do currently come under the scope of PPER 1992 which means employers are not currently legally obliged to provide suitable PPE, from 6th April 2022 this rule will change.
Current and new responsibilities
PPER 1992 places 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.
PPER 2022 extends this duty to limb (b) workers meaning employers will need to consider whether this change applies to them and their workforce and what necessary preparations are required to comply: these will include:
- Ensuring there is no difference in the way PPE is provided to your workers
- Assessing risk and ensuring suitable PPE is provided for all people who fall under the definition of ‘worker’
- That PPE is compatible, maintained and correctly stored
- That workers are trained to use the PPE properly
- That reporting processes are in place should the PPE get lost or become defective
- That you provide all PPE free of charge to all of your workers.
How will the new rules be regulated?
PPE is already assessed as part of routine inspections, from 6th April 2022 HSE inspectors will be checking to ensure that employers are complying with the requirement now placed upon them for all workers. Enforcement can range from verbal advice to prosecution depending on the individual case.
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