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Changes to the personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations from the 6 April 2022

Changes to the personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations from the 6 April 2022

As of today, the 6 April 2022, the new changes to the personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations which is an update of the previous 1992 regulations (PPER), come into effect. 

This update to the regulations will extend employers’ duties in relation to PPE for employees and now also will include limb (b) workers. 

What is a limb (b) worker?

As outlined by the HSE, a limb (b) worker is classified as a ‘dependent contractor’ or ‘worker’ that is self-employed but delivers a service to a specific business. In these instances, they will carry out the work instead of sending someone else. 

They will generally carry out work on a more contract basis and are currently not covered under PPER 1992.

How does this impact employers?

This means that an employer’s duty in Great Britain to provide suitable PPE to ’employees’ who may be exposed to health and safety risks at work will now also include limb (b) workers.

What does this mean for a limb (b) worker?

Where a risk assessment shows that PPE will be required to carry out work, the employer must provide suitable PPE free of charge as they do for employees.

The employer is responsible for maintenance, storage, and replacement of PPE supplied. They will also have to provide the relevant training to the worker, which he or she will be required to follow. Any lost or defective equipment should be reported to the employer.

What should be in place as of today, 6 April 2022?

Employers with employees and limb (b) workers:

Employers who have both employees and limb (b) workers must ensure there is no difference in how PPE is handled and provided to workers. Relevant risk assessments should have been carried out to ensure the correct PPE is provided to any workers regulated defined by PPER 2022.

PPE must be worn, maintained, and stored in accordance with PPER 2022, and any defective or lost equipment should be reported to the relevant person in charge.

Employers with only limb (b) workers:

Relevant risks should have been assessed, and workers should be provided with suitable PPE free of charge. PPE should be provided, compatible, maintained, and correctly stored. The appropriate training and instruction need to be given to workers for them to carry out the work on site.  

How will the HSE enforce these regulations?

This will now form part of the HSE inspector’s routine assessments, and relevant enforcement action will be taken on duty holders.

Which risks are regulated and enforced under PPER 1992?

There are PPE requirements that do not fall under PPER 1992 such as headwear worn when working on roads but are legally required under the road traffic legislation.

PPE is required to reduce the risks associated with the following: asbestoslead exposureionising radiationnoise, and other substances hazardous to health.

These are regulated and enforced under the current PPER 1992 and now the updated PPER 2022.

Other HSE guidelines on PPE

–       Personal protective equipment at work (L25)

–       Risk at work – protective personal equipment (PPE

The importance of PPE and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is rising and we are seeing wider changes and monitoring of these areas by key bodies such as the HSE. Ensuring you and your teams are adequately protected is essential for your safety and theirs. Preventing life-changing injuries, fatal injuries, or long-term chronic health conditions such as lung disease is paramount and simple measures taken from the outset are an effective way of doing this.

Beacon stock a wide range of PPE and RPE as well as provide services such as fitting face masks and inspecting specific equipment to ensure they remain safe for us. Visit our website for more information on our full range of products and services. If you would like to talk to one of the team, don’t hesitate to contact your local depot, where we will be happy to help you further.