From April 2022, employers are required to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers (such as contractors), as well as employees, who may be exposed to health and safety risks in the workplace.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations of 1992 was amended before the House of Commons on 10 January. The new amendment will enter into force on 6 April 2022 and extends the duty of employers to provide individuals with protective equipment (PPE) if they’re deemed limb*  workers under employment law.

To determine whether the worker requires personal protective equipment to do assigned work functions, organisations will need to conduct a risk assessment. From there, an employer has the responsibility to comply by supplying the PPE at no cost.

Organisations will be responsible for maintaining the equipment, access and replacement of personal protective equipment they provide, while personnel are responsible for reporting any damage to the PPE they wear.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance for companies that might be affected by the regulation changes, and has warned employers that it may be subject to enforcement notices or prosecution if they fail to provide workers with equipment necessary to do their job safely.

Approximately 1.7 million workers suffered from a work-related illness in 2021/22, the Health and Safety Executive reported.

*A “limb (worker)” is understood by some people as a “dependent contractor.” A worker is registered as self employed but performs a service as part of another’s business. They generally have to do the task themselves, rather than being able to hire someone to their stead. For example a freelance consultant working for another consultancy or a freelance Site Manager working for a Principal Contractor for a specific project.

If you want more advice on Personal Protective Equipment and other health and safety obligations, then please drop us a message.