Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations from 6 April 2022 (2024)

This page explains changes to the scope of the PPE Regulations which apply from 6 April 2022. There is also basic advice on PPE at work.

  • Amended regulations
  • Duties unchanged but extended
  • Definitions of limb (a) and limb (b) workers
  • What PPE is
  • Hierarchy of controls
  • Employers with both employees and limb (b) workers
  • Employers with only limb (b) workers
  • How this legislation is enforced
  • PPE not regulated and enforced under PPER 1992

Amended regulations

On 6 April 2022 the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) came into force. They amend the 1992 Regulations (PPER 1992).

They extend employers’ and employees’ duties regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) to limb (b) workers.

Duties unchanged but extended

Under PPER 2022, the types of duties and responsibilities on employers and employees under PPER 1992 remain unchanged but are extended to limb (b) workers, as defined in PPER 2022.

If PPE is required, employers must ensure their workers have sufficient information, instruction and training on the use of PPE.

A limb (b) worker now has a duty to use the PPE in accordance with their training and instruction, and ensure it is returned to the storage area provided by their employer.

You can find guidance on the PPE duties in:

  • Personal protective equipment at work (L25)
  • Risk at work - personal protective equipment (PPE)

What this means for employers

PPER 1992 places a duty on every employer in Great Britain to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to ‘employees’ who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work.

PPER 2022 extends this duty to limb (b) workers and came into force on 6 April 2022. Employers need to carefully consider whether the changes to UK law apply to them and their workforce and make the necessary preparations to comply.

What this means for limb (b) workers

If a risk assessment indicates that a limb (b) worker requires PPE to carry out their work activities, the employer must carry out a PPE suitability assessment and provide the PPE free of charge as they do for employees.

The employer is responsible for the maintenance, storage and replacement of any PPE they provide. As a worker, you are required to use the PPE properly following training and instruction from your employer. If the PPE you provide is lost or becomes defective, you should report that to your employer.

Definitions of limb (a) and limb (b) workers

In the UK, section 230(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996’s definition of a worker has 2 limbs:

  • Limb (a) describes those with a contract of employment. This group are employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and are already in scope of PPER 1992
  • Limb (b) describes workers who generally have a more casual employment relationship and work under a contract for service – they do not currently come under the scope of PPER 1992

PPER 2022 draws on this definition of worker and captures both employees and limb (b) workers:

‘“worker” means ‘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 of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual;

and any references to a worker’s contract shall be construed accordingly.’

General duties of limb (b) workers

Generally, workers who come under limb (b):

  • carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations
  • after 1 month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but not other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice
  • 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 only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work, for example swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontracting)
  • are not in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly)

As every employment relationship will be specific to the individual and employer, the precise status of any worker can ultimately only be determined by a court or tribunal.

Please note: These changes do not apply to those who have a ‘self-employed’ status.

More on employment status (GOV.UK website)

What PPE is

PPE is defined in the PPER 1992 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’.

Where an employer finds PPE to be necessary after a risk assessment, using the hierarchy of controls explained below, they have a duty to provide it free of charge.

Hierarchy of controls

PPE should be regarded as the last resort to protect against risks to health and safety. Engineering controls and safe systems of work should be considered first.

Consider controls in the following order, with elimination being the most effective and PPE being the least effective:

  • Elimination – physically remove the hazard
  • Substitution – replace the hazard
  • Engineering controls – isolate people from the hazard
  • Administrative controls – change the way people work
  • PPE – protect the worker with personal protective equipment

Employers with both employees and limb (b) workers

From 6 April 2022, you need to ensure that there is no difference in the way PPE is provided to your workers, as defined by PPER 2022. This means assessing the risk and ensuring suitable PPE is provided, when needed, to all people that fall under the definition of worker.

The PPE provided must be compatible, maintained and correctly stored. All workers must use the PPE properly following training and instruction in its use from their employer. If the PPE you provide is lost or becomes defective, your worker should report that to you.

Employers with only limb (b) workers

You need to ensure that your workers are provided with PPE free of charge, where required, from 6 April 2022. This means assessing the residual risk once all other measures (such as engineering controls) have been taken.

You then need to ensure suitable PPE is:

  • provided
  • compatible
  • maintained
  • correctly stored
  • used properly

You also need to provide training and instruction in its use to all your workers. You cannot charge workers for PPE they require to carry out their work.

How this legislation is enforced

HSE inspectors already include assessment of PPE as part of their routine inspections. Enforcement action can range from verbal or written advice to enforcement notices and, in the most serious cases, prosecution of dutyholders.

PPE not regulated and enforced under PPER 1992

Workers may be required to wear items of PPE under legislation other than PPER 1992. For example, crash helmets worn by workers on the road which is legally required under road traffic legislation.

The full list of circ*mstances where PPER 1992 do not apply is contained in regulation 3.

PPE that is required to reduce risks arising from the following is regulated and enforced under regulations other than the PPER 1992.

These risks include those from:

  • lead exposure
  • ionising radiation
  • asbestos
  • noise
  • substances hazardous to health (for example chemicals, fumes, dusts, non-water vapours, nanotechnology, and/or gases)
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Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations from 6 April 2022 (2024)


Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations from 6 April 2022? ›

On 6 April 2022 the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) will come into force and amend the 1992 Regulations (PPER 1992). They extend employers' and employees' duties regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) to limb (b) workers.

What are the OSHA requirements for PPE? ›

All PPE clothing and equipment must be of safe design and construction, and be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. Employers shall take the fit and comfort of PPE into consideration when selecting appropriate items for their workplace. PPE that fits well and is comfortable to wear will encourage employee use.

What is the minimum PPE you need to wear when working? ›

There 6 basic PPEs that are usually required for employees that are exposed to hazardous environments. These includes: Footwear – Industrial shoes, boots, or sneakers that protect the feet from chemical spills, broken glass, and other debris. Gloves – Chemical-resistant gloves to protect hands from harsh chemicals.

What PPE is required to wear in the workplace? ›

These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.

When should PPE be provided by the employer? ›

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Controlling a hazard at its source is the best way to protect workers. However, when engineering, work practice and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to you and ensure its use.

How do you know if PPE is required? ›

The PPE Hazard Assessment form can be used to determine the required PPE by identifying the hazards of performing the task and selecting appropriate PPE. The form is grouped according to the body part protected by specific types of PPE. The form can serve as a written certification of the PPE Hazard Assessment.

What PPE does your employer need to provide for night work OSHA? ›

High-visibility clothing (Hi-Vis) in the field of occupational safety is paramount. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) took a decisive step in its new standards. Hi-Vis gear is now standard for a whole new class of employees. Workers and employers will benefit from the new normal.

What are the basic PPE items required? ›

Including gloves, gowns, shoe covers, head covers, masks, respirators, eye protection, face shields, and goggles.

Is it optional to wear your PPE while on the job? ›

Many times, certain types of PPE are a legal requirement. Check your local laws to see which PPE is required and which PPE is optional. With many hazards in the workplace, even if it isn't always comfortable to wear PPE, it's still important.

What are the consequences of not wearing PPE? ›

Without PPE, employees are at risk of:

Cuts and punctures. Chemical burns. Electric shocks. Exposure to excessive noise or vibration.

What is the ANSI standard for PPE? ›

OSHA requires PPE to meet the following ANSI standards: • Eye and Face Protection: ANSI Z87. 1-1989 (USA Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection). Head Protection: ANSI Z89. 1-1986 • Foot Protection: ANSI Z41.

Who is responsible for maintaining PPE? ›

Your employer has a responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy workplace to protect all workers, including providing and maintaining PPE.

When should PPE be provided? ›

Employers should provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training in its usage to their employees wherever there is a risk to health and safety. PPE should be worn as a last resort.

What is the OSHA rule for PPE? ›

The employer is responsible for requiring the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment in all operations where there is an exposure to hazardous conditions or where this part indicates the need for using such equipment to reduce the hazards to the employees.

What if my employer does not provide PPE? ›

Your employer should supply such PPE and also explain to you when and how to use it. Any employer that fails to do so may be responsible for his or her neglect. Furthermore, you may be entitled to compensation if you experience an injury due to your employer's failure to provide you with PPE.

What are the guidelines for using PPE? ›

PPE should be donned (put on) and doffed (taken off) in a controlled and safe environment to reduce the risk of contamination to self, others, or the surrounding environment. While doffing PPE it is particularly important to prevent contact between contaminated PPE and clean surfaces, skin, or clothing.

What PPE is mandated on a construction site? ›

Procedure Instruction. The minimum personal protection equipment that is required to be worn while on a construction site is a hard hat, safety glasses, and footwear appropriate for a construction site.

What are employers required to do regarding personal protective equipment 1910.132 d )( 1 )( i iii? ›

If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall: (i) Select, and have each affected employee use, the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment; (ii) Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee; and, (iii) Select PPE ...

How often does OSHA require PPE training? ›

29 CFR 1910.134 (k) – “Training and information. This paragraph requires the employer to provide effective training to employees who are required to use respirators. The training must be comprehensive, understandable, and recur annually, and more often if necessary.

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