PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is a crucial part of risk management within the health and safety industry and applies to a lot of different areas of work. The PPE Regulations (1992) were set out to try and provide better guidance on what employers and companies needed to do to ensure their workers and associates were well protected when it came to safety equipment.
The regulations are set for an update in 2022 with the changes coming into effect from the 6th of April. Here we share the broad changes being implemented and where you need to go to learn how to become compliant.
1. The regulations now extend to Limb (b) workers
Whilst the broad rules within the regulations will not change, the scope of which workers the regulations cover will. From the 6th of April, the regulations will now cover limb (b) workers. The regulations place a duty on every employer within Great Britain to ensure suitable PPE is provided to ‘employees’ of the company.
This means that if a risk assessment is carried out that shows limb (b) workers should wear some form of PPE, then the employer should provide them with the same equipment as they would a limb (a) worker.
2. What is the difference between Limb (a) and Limb (b) workers
Broadly speaking, limb (a) workers are employees of a company under a contract of employment whilst limb (b) workers are generally in more casual employment relationships working under a contract for service.
The new legislation draws upon the legal definition of a worker who has entered in or workers under:
‘“worker” means ‘an individual who has entered into or works under –
(a) a contract of employment; or
(b) any other contract, whether express or implied and (if it is express) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract whose status is not by virtue of the contract that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual;
and any references to a worker’s contract shall be construed accordingly.’
(HSE Executive, 2022)
Go to the HSE Executive to find out more
To find out more about the changes to the regulations and what they mean for your duties as an employer, visit the HSE Executive website for the official statement and next steps: https://www.hse.gov.uk/ppe/ppe-regulations-2022.htm