PPE Regulations 2022 – Are You Affected by the Changes?

The revised Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) regulations will take effect on 6th April 2022.

This adjustment is a crucial element of the HSE strategy, aiming to ensure that workers in the GIG economy receive an equivalent level of health and safety protection in the workplace as their traditional counterparts. Consequently, this regulatory modification extends the responsibilities of both employers and employees to include ‘limb (b)’ workers. As a result, businesses must provide PPE. And workers themselves will need to use it in accordance with the provided training.

Limb (b) workers now encompassed by the PPE regulations typically:

  • Engage in casual or irregular work for one or more organisations.
  • Receive holiday pay after one month of continuous service but lack other employment rights, such as the minimum period of statutory notice.
  • Choose to carry out work.
  • Have a contract or another arrangement to perform work or services personally for a reward and possess only a limited right to delegate the work to someone else, for instance, swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontracting). The contract doesn’t necessarily have to be written.
  • Are not in business for themselves (they do not directly advertise services to customers who can then book their services directly).

It’s important to note that these changes do not impact self-employed individuals in regular contracted service arrangements. For example, electricians, handymen, and gardeners. However, you still bear the responsibility of ensuring they work safely on your premises as part of your contractor control arrangements.

Individuals are likely to be considered self-employed for tax purposes if most of the following apply:

  • Submit bids or provide quotes to secure work.
  • Work without direct supervision.
  • Invoice for the completed work.
  • Manage their National Insurance and tax payments.
  • Lack holiday or sick pay when not working.
  • Operate under a contract using terms like ‘self-employed,’ ‘consultant,’ or ‘independent contractor.’ Sometimes this is referred to as a ‘contract for services’ or ‘consultancy agreement’.

Recommended Actions in regards to the PPE Regulations April 22:

  • Ascertain the employment status of all workers in your business to identify those affected by the change. Each business is unique in how they engage workers, so advice from your HR department is paramount.
  • Seize the opportunity to reassess your use of PPE, ensuring it serves as your last line of defense for residual risk, not as a substitute for more robust engineering control measures.
  • Leverage the announced change to focus on employees. Ensure adequate training and instruction for the use, care, and reporting of damage or obtaining replacements when PPE is necessary as part of their risk assessment.
  • Explore the updated guidance on PPE types available on the HSE website.

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