PPE Regulations - What employers and employees must do:

The following list is an abbreviated extract from the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. The full guide (available from HMSO) should be read for a more complete understanding of the obligations placed upon employers, employees and the self-employed. There are 11 regulations listed intended to provide workplace safety. Regulations 1-3 are introductory, the rest follow in an abbreviated form.

It is an offence for an employer not to carry out his obligations of workplace safety.


Regulation 4 – Provision of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to their 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. Personal protective equipment shall not be suitable unless:

Regulation 5 – Compatibility of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall ensure that where the presence of more than one risk to health or safety makes it necessary for their employee to wear or use simultaneously more than one item of personal protective equipment, such equipment is compatible and continues to be effective against the risk or risks in question.

Regulation 6 – Assessment of personal protective equipment

Before choosing any personal protective equipment which they are required to ensure is provided, an employer shall ensure that an assessment is made to determine whether the personal protective equipment they intends will be provided is suitable. The assessment required should include:

Every employer who is required to ensure that any assessment is made shall ensure that any such assessment is reviewed if:

Regulation 7 – Maintenance and replacement of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to their employees is maintained (including replaced or cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

Regulation 8 – Accommodation of personal protective equipment

Where an employer or self-employed person is required, by virtue of regulation 4, to ensure personal protective equipment is provided, they shall also ensure that appropriate accommodation (storage) is provided for that personal protective equipment when it is not being used.

Regulation 9 – Information, instruction and training

Where an employer is required to ensure that personal protective equipment is provided to an employee, the employer shall also ensure that the employee is provided with such information, instruction and training as is adequate and appropriate to enable the employee to know:

The information and instruction provided shall be adequate and appropriate only if it is comprehensible to the persons to whom it is provided.

Regulation 10 – Use of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to their employees is properly used.Every employee shall use any personal protective equipment provided to him in accordance with any training in the use of the personal protective equipment concerned which has been received by him and the instructions respecting that use which have been provided to him.Every employee who has been provided with personal protective equipment shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that it is returned to the accommodation provided for it after use.

Regulation 11 – Reporting loss or defect

Every employee who has been provided with personal protective equipment shall report to their employer any loss of or obvious defect in that personal protective equipment.