PPE and your employer’s responsibility

The COVID-19 global pandemic is unchartered territory for all of us. Most of the nation is staying safe and working from home where possible. However, our key workers and frontline staff are working hard to save lives and keep on top of the country’s health and economy. This, of course, does not come without fear and concerns.

It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees. This includes providing personal protective equipment (PPE) where required.

What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment, often referred to as PPE, is equipment that will protect you against health and safety risks at work. PPE is used frequently throughout a variety of industries for various reasons. For example, builders will use hard hats, safety footwear and masks to protect themselves while carrying out their duties.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the majority of key workers relying on the use of PPE in their day-to-day jobs in order to stop the spread of the illness, some of which may not have required PPE in the past. Those working in supermarkets, for instance, should be provided with PPE during this pandemic.

Why is PPE important?

PPE plays a vital role in protecting employees in their job role. During these uncertain circumstances, PPE is a crucial part of any key workers uniform in order to, not only protect themselves, but to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What are your employer’s responsibilities?

Making the workplace a safe environment is one of the most important duties for an employer, including providing adequate PPE where necessary.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees under health and safety law to assess risks in the workplace, inform their employees of any risks and instruct their employees on how to deal with the risks.

During the global pandemic we are seeing regular changes regarding health, safety and PPE guidance, all of which can be found on the gov.uk website.

What can you do if you’re concerned?

If you think your employer is exposing you to unnecessary and preventable risks, it is important that you raise your concerns immediately. If you have already done this and you feel there has been an unsatisfactory response, you have the right to make a formal complaint.
While it is understandable we are living in a challenging time of extreme pressure, health and safety law still remains. Get in touch with our Personal Injury law team via email info@naughtons.co.uk or call us on 0191 500 6050 to find out how we can help you.

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