Health and Safety at Work (Construction) (Personal Protective Equipment) (Jersey) Regulations 2002 place duties, in relation to the wearing of personal protective equipment, on a number of different parties:
- the self-employed
- persons in control of construction sites
They are intended to clarify the responsibilities of all parties to ensure that risks to health and safety of persons working on construction sites are adequately controlled.
It is important, when considering the approach that is required, to be fully aware of the duties set out in the regulations in order to ensure that the legal requirements are being met.
The regulations place duties on employers, persons in control of construction sites, the self employed and employees in respect of the wearing of head protection.
Employers are required to provide their employees, and the self-employed are required to provide themselves, with suitable head protection. Such head protection is required to be maintained and replaced whenever necessary.
Both employers and any person in control of others, such as main contractors, have a duty to ensure that operatives wear head protection where there is a risk of head injury other than by a person falling over.
In order to identify the requirements for the wearing of head protection the person in control of the site may issue written rules, including suitable signs, for the wearing of head protection. The regulations also allow for employers to direct their employees and any person in control of a site to instruct persons working on that site to wear head protection.
Employees or the self-employed are required to comply with any such rules or directions.
Other personal protective equipment
The regulations also set out detailed requirements for the wearing of other personal protective equipment. These requirements refer to such equipment as ear defenders, gloves, respirators, eye protection, safety footwear and high visibility clothing.
Before selecting any personal protective equipment, employers and the self employed must carry out a risk assessment which:
- identifies the risk/s to individuals health and safety
- specifies the equipment which is required to overcome those risks
- identifies the suitability of the equipment that is selected
- assesses the compatibility of equipment where more than one item of equipment is required to be worn.
This assessment is required to be reviewed where it is no longer valid or there has been a change in circumstances.
Employers are required to provide their employees, and the self-employed are required to provide themselves, with suitable personal protective equipment identified as a result of the risk assessment. The personal protective equipment must be maintained and replaced whenever necessary.
The suitability of the personal protective equipment that is selected must take into account the characteristics of the individual who is to wear the equipment and be effective at ensuring the risks are adequately controlled. Hygiene considerations must also be taken into account and, where necessary, equipment provided for individual use.
Where more than one item of personal protective equipment is required to be worn, the regulations place a duty on employers and the self-employed to ensure that the items of equipment are compatible and effective when worn together.
Employers and the self-employed are also required to provide suitable storage or accommodation for all personal protective equipment provided, in accordance with the regulations. The accommodation must enable the equipment to be protected from deterioration and remain fit for use.
Information, instruction and training
The regulations place a duty on employers to provide such information, instruction and training as is necessary to ensure that employees are aware of:
- the risks which the personal protective equipment has been provided to address
- the reasons for and the manner in which the personal protective equipment is to be worn
- any requirements placed on the employee to ensure that the equipment is maintained in efficient working order and good condition.
Any information, instruction or training that is provided will not be considered adequate unless it is given in a manner which is easy to understand. Therefore, for example, where individuals have difficulty understanding English, the information, instruction and training must be provided in a language or in a manner that can be understood by the recipient.
Where appropriate, employers may also need to arrange for demonstrations of the wearing of personal protective equipment that is to be provided.
Use and care of personal protective equipment
Every employer is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that personal protective equipment that is provided is properly used, and employees are required to wear any personal protective equipment that they have been trained and instructed to wear. The self-employed are also required to wear personal protective equipment in accordance with the regulations.
Employees and the self employed are required to return the personal protective equipment to the accommodation that is provided.
Employees must also take reasonable care of personal protective equipment and report any defect or loss of the equipment to their employers.
Requests for exemptions from the requirements of the regulations may be made to the Minister for Social Security.
The granting of such exemptions, which may be subject to such conditions and time limits as the Minister considers appropriate. This will only be granted where the Minister is satisfied that the health and safety of persons will not be prejudiced by the granting of the exemption.
There are not likely, therefore, to be many circumstances where such an exemption will be granted.
Note: Electronic copies of the regulations may be downloaded from www.jerseylaw.je
Management in Construction (Jersey) Regulations 2016