“Not just any old PPE, it must fit the wearer!” PPE 1992 Reg 4
COVID has raised awareness of the need for PPE into the minds of millions of workers. Over the last three months Barnet UNISON has heard from our members lots of issues about the lack of PPE, the rationing of PPE, the absence of PPE and poorly fitting PPE.
John Hendy QC speaking at our “Employment Rights in the COVID workplace” Zoom meeting on 3 June 2020 (see link to his talk about 14 minutes 26 seconds into the video https://youtu.be/tA2r16cqXd8) refers workers to The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, UK Statutory Instruments1992 No. 2966 Regulation 4
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, UK Statutory Instruments1992 No. 2966 Regulation 4
Provision of personal protective equipment
4.—(1) Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work except where and to the extent that such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective.
(2) Every self-employed person shall ensure that he is provided with suitable personal protective equipment where he may be exposed to a risk to his health or safety while at work except where and to the extent that such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraphs (1) and (2), personal protective equipment shall not be suitable unless—
(a) it is appropriate for the risk or risks involved and the conditions at the place where exposure to the risk may occur;
(b) it takes account of ergonomic requirements and the state of health of the person or persons who may wear it;
(c) it is capable of fitting the wearer correctly, if necessary, after adjustments within the range for which it is designed;
(d)so far as is practicable, it is effective to prevent or adequately control the risk or risks involved without increasing overall risk;
(e)it complies with any enactment (whether in an Act or instrument) which implements in Great Britain any provision on design or manufacture with respect to health or safety in any relevant Community directive listed in Schedule 1 which is applicable to that item of personal protective equipment.
John Hendy makes it clear that this is a key piece of legislation. If the PPE being provided by your employer does not fit or causes an allergic reaction to the point you cannot wear it then they need to secure PPE that you can wear.