On 6 April 2022, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) will come into force and amend the 1992 Regulations (PPER 1992). They extend employers’ and employees’ duties regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) to limb (b) workers.
Definition of limb (b) workers
In the UK, section 230(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996’s definition of a worker has 2 limbs:
- Limb (a) describes those with a contract of employment. This group are employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and are already in scope of PPER 1992
- Limb (b) describes workers who generally have a more casual employment relationship and work under a contract for service – they do not currently come under the scope of PPER 1992
What this means for employers?
PPER 1992 places a duty on every employer in Great Britain to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to ‘employees’ who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work. PPER 2022 extends this duty to limb (b) workers and comes into force on 6 April 2022. If a risk assessment indicates that a limb (b) worker requires PPE to carry out their work activities, the employer must carry out a PPE suitability assessment and provide the PPE free of charge as they do for employees. The employer will be responsible for the maintenance, storage and replacement of any PPE they provide. As a worker, you will be required to use the PPE properly following training and instruction from your employer. If the PPE you provide is lost or becomes defective, you should report that to your employer.
When will this come into affect?
By 6 April 2022, you need to ensure that there is no difference in the way PPE is provided to your workers, as defined by PPER 2022. This means assessing the risk and ensuring suitable PPE is provided, when needed, to all people that fall under the definition of worker. The PPE provided must be compatible, maintained and correctly stored. All workers must use the PPE properly following training and instruction in its use from their employer. If the PPE you provide is lost or becomes defective, your worker should report that to you.
Health and Safety Executive inspectors have already started to include PPE assessment as part of their routine inspections to ensure that all duty holders (employers, employees, and workers) are up to date in the requirements of their duties under the PPER2022. Employers now need to carefully consider whether this change in the law applies to them and their workforce and make necessary preparations to comply.
How can Genesis help support you with these changes?
- Risk Assessments, to indicate if a limb (b) worker requires PPE to carry out their work activities.
- Workplace audits.
- Toolbox talks – provide employers and employees with sufficient information, instruction, and training on PPE use.
- PPE suitability assessments.
- PPE compatibility, such as face fit testing.
To summarise, under PPER 2022, the types of duties and responsibilities remain unchanged but will now extend to limb (b) workers as defined above. If you would like further information regarding this upcoming amendment or require support to help incorporate these changes, please do not hesitate to contact me or any health and safety team member here at Genesis on 01387 248811 or email email@example.com.
These amendments do not apply to those who have ‘self-employed’ status. Workers may be required to wear items of PPE under legislation other than PPER 1992; the complete list of circumstances where PPER 1992 do not apply is contained in regulation 3.