2021-12-28 16:26

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Publication Of Consultation Response On Amendments To The
Personal Protective Equipment At Work Regulations 1992

Changes are being made to the PPER 1992 to align with a court judgment which decided that the Government had failed to adequately transpose Article 8(4) and 8(5) of EU Directive 89/391/EEC (“the Framework Directive”) and Article 3 of EU Directive 89/656/EEC of 30 November 1989 (“the Personal Protective Equipment Directive”) into UK law.

The UK implemented the PPE Directive through the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (“PPER 1992”) which places duties on employers and employees in regard to PPE.

Image: PPR Regs 1992 V2015The duties under the PPER 1992 apply whilst the employee is at work.

The employer’s duties include the assessment and provision of PPE (where it is found necessary during a risk assessment), ensuring PPE is suitable for use, the maintenance and replacement of PPE, and other duties around the information, instruction, training, and use of PPE.

The employee’s duties under the PPER 1992 are to report loss and defects in the PPE which they are provided, use the PPE in accordance with the training and instruction provided, and to ensure PPE is returned to the accommodation provided by the employer.

The High Court found that the PPE Directive required these duties to be extended to limb (b) workers. Therefore, HSE is making amendments to the PPER in order to align with the court’s judgment.

During the summer of 2021, HSE hosted a formal public consultation on the HSE Consultation Hub on the proposed amendments to the PPER 1992, inviting stakeholders ranging from industrial sectors to businesses and workers and representatives to participate.

The aim of the consultation is to understand the impact (costs and benefits) on stakeholders and businesses of extending the scope of the employers’ and employees’ duties under the PPER to limb (b) workers.

HSE has published its consultation outcome which can be accessed here

HSE currently plan to introduce the amending regulations in early 2022 and expect the regulations to come into force on 6 April 2022. They will also publish updated guidance to support businesses that are impacted by the changes and ensure workers are aware of their rights in respect of PPE in the workplace.

What are Limb (b) workers?

There are two main employment statuses for employment rights: ‘employee’ and ‘worker’. Employees are defined as limb (a) and workers are defined as limb (b) in the Employment Rights Act 1996 s.230:

..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 or any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual.

Generally, limb (b) workers:

  • carry out casual or irregular work for one or a number of organisation(s),
  • receive holiday pay, but not other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice, after one month of continuous service
  • 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 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)

Source: HSE

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