PPE Duty amendment (Britain)

The HSE has today (19th July) launched a consultation here, on proposed changes to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPER). Consultation closes on 15th August.

Currently, employers have a duty to their ‘employees’ in respect to PPE – changes to the PPER will ensure this duty also extends to ‘limb (b) workers’, and will apply in England, Scotland and Wales.

In the PPER, PPE is defined as “all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects the person against one or more risks to that person’s health or safety, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective.”

This Blog does not extend to employment law, but note in Britain 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: [we do not supply the ERA or advise on it]

..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. [my bold]

According to the HSE consultation document – 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)

Specific PPE required and provided for in the below health and safety regulations is not part of this HSE consultation – PPE required in relation to:

• lead exposure – Control of lead at work

• ionising radiation – Work with ionising radiation    

• asbestos – Managing and working with asbestos   

• substances hazardous to health in the workplace (for example: chemicals, fumes, dusts, non-water vapours, non-water mists, nanotechnology, and/or gases) – Control of substances hazardous to health

• noise – Controlling noise at work

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s