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News in Focus: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) change

Make sure you’re up to date with the latest regulations to protect yourself and staff.

Home » Tradesman Insights » News in Focus: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) change

On April 6th 2022, changes in PPE regulations came into effect. The changes extend the regulations set out in 1992 (PPER 1992), which placed a duty on every employer in Great Britain to provide PPE to those who are at risk while working.

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 employees (limb a) must be provided with personal equipment to reduce the risks in their job, as well as the required training to use the PPE.

A limb (a) employee is someone who is contracted full-time with a company and receives employment benefits. They will typically need to give a notice period to end the contract, and will receive holiday and sick pay.

From April 2022, personal equipment must also be provided to workers (limb b) who are contracted on a non-permanent basis.

A limb (b) worker is essentially a sub-contractor or sole trader who takes on temporary work with an employer.

A limb (b) worker is also defined as a worker who

  • carries out casual or irregular work for one or a number of organisation(s),
  • receives holiday pay, but not other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice, after one month of continuous service
  • only carries out work if they choose to
  • has a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (the contract doesn’t have to be written) and they only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work, for example, swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontract)
  • are not in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly)

If you only hire limb (b) workers, then you must provide PPE for free, and make sure the protective equipment is:

  • compatible with the work being carried out
  • maintained and replaced if damaged or unusable
  • stored correctly
  • used properly

As you know, the construction industry has a number of risks, with some trades more dangerous than others. It’s advisable to review your PPE policy and make sure your business is following the latest regulation.

Failure to meet the new regulations may result in written advice, enforcement notices, or prosecution. Not protecting employees or subcontractors could lead to injury or death, which is why a public liability insurance policy cannot be stressed enough.

Tradesman Talk

If you hire permanent staff or workers, have you been made aware of the changes to PPE?

Do you think businesses should receive government funding to cover of the cost of protective equipment?

In most cases, PPE you purchase for your business is tax deductible. But is this enough?

Get involved in the comments below. And click the social links to share this article with your audience.

Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

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