Employment Alert – HSE publishes guidance on changes to employers’ duties to provide PPE

13 Jan 2022

HSE publishes guidance on changes to employers’ duties to provide PPE

What’s happening?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance to prepare employers for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022, which come into force on 6 April 2022.

Why is this important?

Employers already have a duty to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to employees who might be exposed to a risk to their health and safety while at work. From 6 April 2022, this duty will extend to workers as well.

This means that if a risk assessment demonstrates that a worker requires PPE to carry out their work, the employer must carry out a PPE suitability assessment and provide the PPE free of charge, as they are currently required to do for employees. The employer will also be responsible for the maintenance, storage and replacement of any PPE they provide.

Employers need to ensure that by 6 April 2022, there is no difference in the way they provide PPE to employees and workers. Failure to comply with the Regulations may lead to health and safety related claims. It may also lead to enforcement notices by HSE or in the most serious cases, prosecution.

What should you do?

  1. Review the HSE interim guidance to identify whether your workforce may be impacted by the changes.
  2. Conduct risk assessments to see if any of your workers require PPE to carry out their work and where applicable, carry out PPE suitability assessments.
  3. By no later than 6 April 2022, ensure you are providing all workers with PPE if they require it, together with sufficient information, instructions and training on its use.

Keep an eye on our future employment alerts for any updates to these rules.

If you need more information please contact us on 0800 2800 421 or email Employment.Alert@trethowans.com to find out how we can help.

Author

Andrew Crudge

Associate