The HSE formal consultation exercise on amendments to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPER) will close on Sunday 15 August.

The aim of the consultation is to understand the impact on stakeholders and businesses of extending the scope of employers’ duties under the PPE Regulations to workers and not just employees.

The consultation can be accessed here.

Background information

HSE is currently consulting on plans to extend the requirement of employers under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPER) to include the provision of relevant PPE to all workers, not just employees. This consultation is launching on Monday 19 July 2021 and running for 4 weeks and can be accessed via the HSE Consultation Hub from this date.

The aim of the consultation is to understand the impact on stakeholders and businesses of extending the scope of the employers’ duties under the PPER to workers and not only employees.

Why is the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) making changes to the regulations?
In November 2020, a judgment was handed down in a High Court case brought by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) against the Secretaries of State for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), which decided that the government had failed to transpose elements of the EU’s Framework Directive (which sets out the minimum standards for health and safety through a series of general principles) and the EU’s Personal Protective Equipment Directive (which sets out the minimum health and safety requirements for the use of personal protective equipment in the workplace for workers) into UK law.

The UK implemented the PPE Directive through the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992  (“PPER”) which places duties on employers to their ‘employees’ in regard to PPE. The High Court found that the PPE Directive required these duties to be extended to ‘limb (b) workers’ and not only ‘employees’. Therefore, HSE is making amendments to the PPER in order to align with the court’s judgment.

“Limb (b) workers” are workers who do not work under an employment contract but work under any other contract whereby they undertake to personally perform work or services for the other party to the contract.

What does this mean?
Employers will have a duty to provide all workers with the same health and safety protections in respect of PPE as they do currently for employees.

Options on how to achieve the extension of the provisions to workers in the legislation will not be presented during the consultation as the key legislative changes are being made to align with the court decision.

FIS is gathering information from our membership on the impact of these changes via this survey here.

As part of the process we are asking your views and trying to understand what the cost implication may be on your business.  Please submit your response by Friday 6 August so we can consolidate the information from our community and send it across to the HSE.

Market Data

FIS has access to a wide range of market data from sources including the CPA, Barbour ABI and Builders' Conference. In addition, FIS produces a state of trade survey specifically for the finishes and interiors sector.