PPE Responsibilities Extended to Workers from April

By Fiona Burns
14 Jan 2022
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If you’ve followed health & safety guidelines so far, you’ve likely been providing PPE to the appropriate people throughout the pandemic. However, a change due to come into force on 6th April 2022 might change that.

Later this year the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPER 1992) will be amended. PPER 2022 will extend existing duties to limb (b) workers.

PPE - Employer Responsibilities

What is a limb (b) worker?

Now, you’re probably wondering – do I employ a limb (b) worker?

These types of workers are classified as ‘dependent contractors’. They are generally registered as self-employed but provide a service as part of your business. Typically, the worker must carry out the role personally, rather than have someone substitute for them.

This is different from regular self-employed individuals, as they only work for themselves.

What are my duties as an employer?

The amendment made in April won’t change your duties, only extend them. This means if you’re already following guidance, you only need to make sure it also applies to any limb (b) workers you’re engaging.

However, if you’re uncertain what your duties are, here is a little refresher:

  • As an employer, you must provide suitable PPE to staff who may be exposed to a risk to their health & safety while at work.
  • If PPE is required, you must ensure all staff affected have sufficient information, instruction and training to use the PPE.
  • You are also responsible for the maintenance, storage, and replacement of any PPE you provide.

Your employees should let you know if any PPE is lost or becomes defective. You must not charge staff for PPE that is essential to their safety as part of their role.

PPE Employer Responsibilities

How can I make sure I’m prepared for the change?

Conduct a risk assessment to assess whether any of your limb (b) workers require PPE. If they do, you must carry out a PPE suitability assessment and source the equipment ready for use. Legally, you need to do this by April 6th, 2022. However, for the safety of your staff, it is worth conducting the relevant assessments as soon as possible.

Stay ahead of health & safety changes

Struggle to keep tabs on the latest updates to health & safety regulations? Speak to a Croner health & safety consultant today and find out how you can keep ahead of the curve and access 24/7 advice from industry experts.

Call now on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Fiona Burns

Fiona Burns has practical experience in Health & Safety and Risk Management having worked for major insurer prior to joining Croner.

She has gained extensive helpline experience offering competent advice and timely support to large number of clients, in various industries and at all levels.  Completed the NEBOSH General Certificate, also passed NEBOSH Environmental Diploma Unit A, (IOSH Managing Environmental responsibilities). NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management Certificate, FPA Advance Fire Training, NCRQ Diploma – Distinction currently completing IPD and volunteering for Community project in Atherstone also as a Dementia support worker with CWPT.

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Fiona Burns

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