Changes to PPE Regulations

As of 6th April 2022, there has been a change in PPE regulations for employers and employees.

These changes reflect more of an extension of the current regulations, so will not make too much difference to businesses that only have fully contracted employees. The changes concern businesses that use limb (b) workers, otherwise known as dependent contractors.

What is a dependent contractor?
Dependent contractors are generally registered as self-employed but carry out services for another business personally. The key difference is that a dependent contractor does not work for their own business. Often, they carry out work on properties where they are exposed to the public for the sake of someone else’s business.

New regulations
PPE regulations have been extended through the passing of the Personal Protective Equipment Work (Amended) Regulations 2022. This stipulates the responsibilities of employers and employees and their duty to provide, maintain and store PPE.

What this means for your business
With this amendment, employers must now carry out a risk assessment and PPE suitability assessment for their business. Now this includes dependent contractors so assessments need to be carried out for these workers also. If the assessment shows the need for protection, it is now the employer’s responsibility to provide PPE free of charge, as with contracted employees. This includes making sure any PPE is correctly maintained, stored and replaced when needed.

What this means for dependent contractors
For dependent contractors, this will mean having access to sufficient information, instructions and training on PPE use and maintenance. They will have a duty to use PPE appropriately and to ensure its safe return to designated storage areas their employer has provided.

Ultimately, this amendment is an expansion of the scope of PPE use in the modern workplace. Both employers and dependent contractors will need to put in place new processes for responsibility and duties when carrying out work.