May 6, 2022
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Employers are required to provide employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) where risk assessment has identified that it is necessary to protect the person against risks to their health and safety. PPE should be provided as a “last resort” where the risk cannot be adequately controlled by other measures such as physically removing the hazard (elimination), replacing the hazard (substitution), engineering controls to isolate people from the hazard or administrative controls.

As previously reported a revision to the PPE regulations comes into force on 6th April 2022 extending Employers responsibility to provide PPE to include what are known as “Limb (b) workers” as well as “employees”.

The HSE have now published some guidance on these changes and how they affect employers, including guidance on what type of workers fall into the different categories.

While there are a variety of different contracts and only a court or tribunal can determine a worker’s status the HSE advise typically a limb B worker will:

  • 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)

From 6th April, where employers have both “employees” and “Limb (b) workers” they should be treated the same when it comes to the supply of PPE, where employees only have “Limb (b) workers” they should be provided with PPE free of charge where required.

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using [email protected] if you have any questions regarding the provision of PPE for workers.