By Legal Futures Associate National Accident Helpline
Existing Health and Safety rules are due to be amended on 6 April when the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into force.
These regulations place a duty of care on every employer in England, Wales and Scotland to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to all workers who may be exposed to a risk to their health and safety at work.
Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, said: “While current regulations state that employers must provide suitable PPE, free of charge, to staff who are under a contract of employment, the amended rules will now see all workers protected.
“With the gig economy continuing to grow at a rapid pace, it’s surprising that the legislation is only just changing. The new rules will mean that employers’ obligations will extend beyond employees with formal employment contracts to freelance workers whose employment is more irregular and who often work for more than one employer. The Government has recognised the growth of the gig economy and the need to protect all workers who may be exposed to health and safety risks.
“We very much welcome these changes, which provide equivalent levels of health and safety protection for all workers, the one exception being the self-employed who are excluded from the changes.
“We urge all employers to ensure they take the appropriate steps in order to meet the new requirement by ensuring that there is no difference in the way protective equipment is provided to casual workers. Failure to do so, could result in HSE enforcement action and criminal prosecution.”
For more information, please visit National Accident Helpline