What you need to know about new health and safety laws

  • 11 Jul 2022

PPE must be provided, free of charge, to all workers, including casual staff, contractors and anyone who carries out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations. It does not apply to the self-employed, who are responsible for their own arrangements. 

“Most organisations will likely have already been providing PPE based on the nature of the role itself rather than the status of the person doing it,” said Mark Hamilton, a partner at law firm Dentons.

“Perhaps in the case of employers who largely rely on workers, for example, food delivery companies, it will be a significant logistical and financial commitment. Previously they would just have made it a condition of work that one was worn, with the worker having to supply their own.”


 

 


Employers will also be responsible for storing and replacing lost or defective PPE, which may include items such as jackets, goggles, gloves, masks, hard hats and ear defenders. They must also provide full training in how to use any kit.

Other PPE laws also apply to employers with specific risks, such as for those working on roads or with radiation, lead exposure, asbestos, noise or substances hazardous to health.

The Health & Safety Executive say employers must carry out risk assessments; if these indicate that PPE should be worn, employers should carry out a PPE suitability assessment. Inspectors can enter any business premises at any time, with actions ranging from verbal or written advice to statutory enforcement notices or prosecution.

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