There have been various changes to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rules over the nearly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal life in nearly every corner of the globe. In April 2022, a major change to employers’ responsibilities regarding the provision of PPE is coming into force.
From April 2022, employers must ensure that suitable PPE is provided to all workers that face a health and safety risk while undertaking their duties.
What do employers have to do following the new regulations?
The amendment to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 was put before Parliament on 10th January 2022.
The regulations as they are only place a duty to provide adequate PPE to employees that face health and safety risks at work, the amendment extends this to workers. The changes come into force from 6 th April 2022.
It’s important your business takes the due time and consideration to determine whether the new rules apply to your projects. By doing so you can ensure your business is on the right side of the new regulations and isn’t exposed to the risk of fines or prosecution,
What new responsibilities do businesses have to their workers under the regulations?
For all new projects it is good practice that a business carries out a risk assessment to assess the risk involved and the necessary precautions which can be taken to reasonably mitigate these.
In the event that a risk assessment recommends that a worker requires PPE to safely perform their work activities, the employer must first carry out a PPE suitability assessment, secondly the employer is then obligated to provide the worker, as well as any employee, with PPE free of charge.
Moreover, under the new changes, employers are responsible for the maintenance, storage, upkeep and replacement of the PPE they provide to workers in order to complete their duties.
Workers will be responsible to report loss and defects in PPE and must use PPE in accordance with the training and guidance provided. Additionally, at the end of the work activity the worker must ensure PPE is returned to the accommodation for storage in the facility provided by the employer.
What should employers do in the interim?
The HSE has published interim guidance to help employers understand whether they will be affected by the changes and what they need to before the regulations come into force.
The HSE will enforce the new legislation through already routine PPE inspections. Enforcement actions can include verbal and written enforcement notices, and in the worst-case prosecution. Meaning it is essential that all businesses that require the use of PPE in their activities are aware of their obligations towards workers and act on them in a timely manner.
Hawksafe risk assessments
If you are unsure whether your business requires PPE for certain tasks, or in the course of a new project you begin new routine activities, you will need to carry out a risk assessment to determine the appropriate PPE needed to maintain your staff’s safety.
At Hawksafe, we offer risk assessment templates tailored to a number of site-specific operations. Our risk assessments are prewritten saving your business the time needed to consider the risks present in each task. By using Hawksafe risk assessment templates you can also save your business the time it would take to write new assessments from scratch, allowing you to get to work more quickly and concentrate on growing your business.
Discuss your requirements with us ahead of the new rules
Please free to give us a call to discuss your health and safety compliance requirements ahead of the updated PPE regulations coming into force in April. Contact us via our online enquiry form or give us a call on 01634 353677.