On 6 April the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) came into force from the HSE. They amend the 1992 Regulations (PPER 1992).
The types of duties and responsibilities on employers and employees under PPER 2022 remain unchanged but are extended to limb (b) workers.
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’.
PPE should be regarded as the last resort to protect against risks to health and safety and a hierarchy of controls and safe systems of work should be considered first. However, if following a risk assessment an employer finds PPE to be necessary, they have a duty to provide it free of charge.
Furthermore, PPER 1992 places a duty on every employer in the UK to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to workers who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work. PPER 2022 extends this duty to limb (b) workers.
Employers must ensure their workers have adequate information, instructions and training on the use of PPE. A limb (b) worker now has a 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.
Employers need to carefully consider whether the changes to UK law apply to them and their workforce and make the necessary preparations to comply.