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New Legal Duty To Provide Temporary Workers With PPE

The Health & Safety Executive has announced plans to update legislation so that workers (as well as employees) will be entitled to have PPE provided by their employer.  This means that thousands of temporary and contract workers will benefit by a new legal requirement to have personal protective equipment provided for them.

The announcement comes following a court judgment in November 2020 which found that the UK had failed to adequately transpose aspects of two EU Directives into domestic law.  The resulting legislation is currently only applicable to employers and their employees, however it will now be extended to bring workers within scope.  The legislation places a duty on employers to ensure that suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided to employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work.

PPE is defined in the regulations as “all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects the person against one or more risks to that person’s health or safety, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective.”

The updated regulations are expected to come into force on 6 April 2022.

You can read HSE’s consultation about the change and all the legal detail here.

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