New Protective Equipment Regulations02 May 2019
New Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations came into force on 21 April 2019. The aim is to ensure the free movement of PPE within the European Community by harmonising the essential safety requirements to which it must conform. The directive defines “essential requirements” which PPE must satisfy at the time of manufacture and before it is placed on the market. These changes were destined to come into force whether or not we left the EU as planned and will not change post Brexit if or when it happens. According to the regulation, PPE means equipment designed and manufactured to be worn or held by a person for protection against one or more risks to that person’s health or safety.
There does not appear to be any significant issues for the events industry except that hearing protection has been moved up from a Category II product to a Category III product designed to cover ‘the risks that may cause very serious consequences such as death or irreversible damage to health’. This reflects new thinking and case law on the impact of noise induced hearing loss from hazardous exposure.
The new regulations should not be confused with the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (as amended) (PPEWR) which sets duties upon employers for the provision and use of PPE at work. In short the new regulations apply to the supply chain and do not impose any duties on end users/employers who only need to continue to comply with the PPWERW.
HSE’s guidance Personal protective equipment at work L25 can be downloaded for free at www.HSE.gov.uk