The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 cover equipment intended to be used by a person at work that affords protection against health and safety risks. This includes protective clothing (eg overalls, weatherproof clothing, gloves, safety footwear) as well as equipment such as protective eyewear and safety harnesses. The Regulations do not apply where the provision and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is already governed by other regulations (eg the lead, asbestos, ionising radiations, noise, construction head protection and COSHH regulations) and therefore, in practice will not apply to ear protectors or respiratory protective equipment. However, the principles of assessment, selection, maintenance and training are common to all regulations that refer to PPE.
The Regulations apply only to employees: there is no formal requirement to provide PPE to students, for instance. However, the University has duties to non-employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and PPE may need to be provided in order to comply. Therefore, departments that have identified a need for PPE for their staff should provide an equivalent standard of protection for their students and visiting workers.
The Regulations do not apply to PPE worn by employees on the public highway (eg cycle or motor cycle helmets or protective clothing), PPE used during competitive sports (eg shin guards or head protection), personal gas detectors or radiation dosimeters.