The current regulations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at work are changing. From the 6th April 2022 the new Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) regulations will replace the current Regulations. These changes are intended to protect more workers and extending the duties of employers, and employees, regarding PPE at work.
What is PPE?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is defined within the regulations 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.”.
Simply put, PPE is equipment that protects your health and safety at work. Equipment includes, but is not limited to, glasses or googles, hard hats and helmets, ear defenders, respiratory protection such as masks, gloves, appropriate footwear and suitable jackets.
The exact PPE you need depends on your job or industry. For example, a construction worker may be required to wear a high-visibility jacket on site, while a nurse is required to wear a medical gown on their ward.
What Are The Regulation Changes?
The amendment in the PPER (2022) extends the interpretation of a “employee”. The previous regulations stated that PPE only needed to be provided to employees. So, this originally only covered workers who entered into a contract of employment.
The amendments extend the obligation to provide PPE to “limb (b) workers”. These workers tend to have a more casual employment relationship, and often work under a contract for service. Generally, a limb (b) worker will come under one of the following:
- carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations.
- after 1 month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but not other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice.
- only carry out work if they choose to.
- have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (the contract doesn’t have to be written). They only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work. For example, swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontracting).
- are not in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly).
Who Is Responsible For PPE?
Employers have a duty towards the provision and use of PPE at work. However, everyone in the workplace has a responsibility towards keeping themselves, and others, safe. Having the correct PPE is just a small part of workplace safety.
This is why training such as Working at Height, Elementary Health & Safety or Health & Safety Awareness is so important, regardless of the industry you work in. Some workplaces, the risks and hazards are more obvious and the risks higher, but accidents can happen anywhere and anytime.
While the amendments may not apply to your business, it’s an opportunity to check your existing health and safety standard. Regularly checking your existing policies and procedures around PPE provision and general workplace safety, ensures they remain fit for purpose. Make sure all employees, new and existing, are aware of their responsibilities and provide training where required.
Raeburn Training offer a wide range of health and safety training. We offer general First Aid and Health and Safety, as well as more specialised Plant and Access Equipment courses. We run multiple courses each month, both open courses which anyone can join, or closed courses which are just for your employees.
If you can’t find the training course you are looking for on our website, please get in touch. We have a great network of experienced instructors and third party providers across the central belt of Scotland and beyond. So if we don’t already do the course, then we will know someone who can.