Personal Protective Equipment - Particular General Duties

Personal Protective Equipment: Particular General


Compliance with any specific rules relating to personal protective equipment (PPE) at work does NOT of itself mean that the employer has fulfilled his particular general duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act that relate to PPE. These particular general duties are set out below:

Systems of Work in Which PPE is Used

Any systems of work provided must be, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health as regards any employees. Such systems of work need to be maintained so that they remain, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health as regards these employees.

PPE to Protect Against the Hazards of Articles

The employer has a duty to make arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles.

PPE to Protect Against the Hazards of Substances

Arrangements need to be made for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and the absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of substances.

Information About the Risks that PPE can Control and the Risks of the PPE

The employer must be in a position to provide such information as may be necessary to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

Instructions on Avoiding Risks by use of PPE and Avoiding Risks of the PPE

The employer must also be in a position to offer such instruction as may be necessary to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

Training to Avoid Risks by use of PPE and to Avoid Risks of the PPE

All necessary training as may be necessary must be provided to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

Supervision to Avoid Risks by use of PPE and to Avoid Risks of the PPE

The employer has a duty provide such supervision as may be necessary to employees or to any other person as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.

To comply with these particular general duties it may be necessary to do more than is required by specific rules. It is necessary to do more if the cost, time and effort of doing more is justified for achieving a greater reduction of a risk than can be achieved by merely complying with specific rules.

Example:

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 require the employer to provide his employees with information about the risks that the personal protective equipment PPE with which they are issued will avoid or limit, but not information about the risks of the PPE itself or its use. However, the employer is required fill that gap by his particular general duty on provision of information.

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