Updates to PPE Legislation
On the 6th April 2016, Parliament passed the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Repeals, Revocations and Amendments) Regulations 2013 which led to an Act being repealed and related provisions revoked. One of the provisions revoked is the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations (1989), which have been made redundant due to updates made to the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (1992).
According to the HSE, 65,000 non-fatal workplace injuries were self-reported within the construction industry in 2014-2015 and 11% of these have been attributed to employees being struck by objects. The HSE are working closely with the construction industry to ensure that all employers provide relevant PPE, including hard hats, to those working on site. The updates to the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (1192) make it so that labourers still have sufficient legal protection by ensuring that it is mandatory that employers provide and use head protection on site.
The HSE recommend that all head protection provided should be in a good condition and fit the employee properly. Construction companies should also ensure that they buy their PPE from reputable providers of equipment and that any equipment used has a CE mark.
Employers are only legally required to provide sufficient PPE where there is a risk of injury. If there is no risk of injury from falling objects for example, then hard hats are not legally required. Please note that in high risk situations, PPE must be worn at all times unless there is a specific medical or religious reason. For example, those who wear turbans as part of their faith are not legally required to wear hard hats; however, in these situations, employers must ensure that specific control measures are put in place should a non-hard hat wearing employee work in an area where objects could fall and injure them.