From April 6th 2022, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (PPER 2022) came into force amending the 1992 Regulations (PPER 1992). This sees the extension of employers’ and employees’ duties regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers that come under section (b).

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

Who Qualifies as a Limb (b) Worker?

Limb (b) workers are workers that come under the following relations:

  • Workers that carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations

  • After one month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but not other employment rights such as the minimum period or statutory notice

  • Only carry out work if they choose to

  • Have a contract or arrangement to do work or other 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)

What Are the Changes to PPE Regulations?

The new legislation doesn’t change the existing legislation but extends the duties of the employer. The amended regulations state that if a risk assessment indicates that a limb (b) worker requires PPE, the employer must carry out a suitability assessment and provide PPE free of charge as they do for limb (a) workers.

PPE should be regarded as the last resort to protect against risks to health and safety. PPE can be the difference between life and death for workers who may unfortunately be involved in an accident at work. This is why limb (b) workers that aren’t provided for as they should be as per the amended law, have the right to take legal action against their employers.

If you haven’t been provided with the appropriate PPE at work or with any PPE at all, and have been injured as a result, or are concerned about the risk of injury, our experts are on hand to advise you on your next steps. Contact Farleys on 0845 287 0939, by email, or contact us through the online chat below.