Changes to the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations from 6 April 2022

Ridwaan Omar
Ridwaan Omar

Published: January 26th, 2022

7 min read

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (legislation.gov.uk) come into force on the 6 April 2022.

The duty to provide PPE remains the same, but the 2022 regulations widen the scope of which workers an employer has to provide PPE for, to now include not just employees working under a contract of employment. From the 6 April 2022, the duty will also apply where a worker has a contract for service ie a more casual employment relationship. This will include casual or irregular workers, but not those with self-employed status.

The new regulations set out in paragraph 3 the definition of a worker as follows, with limb (b) being the additional description:

"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.

The duty is to assess the risks to all workers in the definition, to provide (free of charge) appropriate PPE, to maintain it, ensure it is correctly stored and used properly, as well as providing training on its use.

The HSE have said that their inspectors already include assessment of PPE as part of their routine inspections, so they will continue to do this and ensure that all "workers" are properly provided for. They point out that enforcement action can range from verbal or written advice to enforcement notices and even prosecutions in the most serious of cases.

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