Updated: Mar 11, 2022
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).
PPER 1992 places a duty on employers to ensure that suitable PPE is provided free of charge to ‘employees’ ( limb (a) workers), who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work.
PPER 2022 extends this duty to limb (b) workers (it does not apply to self-employed persons).
Employers will need to carefully consider whether this change applies to them and their workforce and make the necessary preparations to comply.
If a risk assessment indicates that a limb (b) worker requires PPE to carry out their work activities, the employer must provide PPE free of charge as they do for their existing employees.
An employer is responsible for training, instruction, maintenance, storage and replacement of any PPE provided.
All workers (including limb (b) workers), are required to use PPE properly after receiving training and instruction.
If PPE is lost or becomes defective, workers should report this to their employer who should provide a replacement free of charge.
A limb (b) worker has a duty to use PPE in accordance with any training and instruction given, and ensure that it is returned to a storage area provided by their employer.
Who is a Limb (b) worker?
These are workers who generally have a more casual employment relationship and work under a contract for service and are not currently covered by PPER 1992.
Generally, these are workers who:
Carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations
After 1 month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but no 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) and 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)
Risk assessing PPE needs
Employers need to assess the risk from work undertaken and if they find that PPE is necessary after a risk assessment then they have a duty to provide it free of charge.
Employers with both employees and limb (b) workers
By 6 April 2022, employers need to ensure that there is no difference in the way PPE is provided to their workers, as defined by PPER 2022.
Employers with only limb (b) workers
Employers need to ensure that these workers are provided with PPE free of charge, where required, by 6 April 2022. This means assessing the residual risk once all other measures (such as engineering controls) have been taken into account.
Employers then need to ensure that suitable PPE is:
Employers will also need to provide training and instruction in its use to all their workers. Employers cannot charge workers for PPE they require to carry out their work.
You can find guidance on the PPE duties in:
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