Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992


The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 came into force on the 1st January 1993 and apply to employers in all industries and service occupations, including offshore oil and gas sectors.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – means all equipment designed to be worn or held by a person at work to protect against one or more risks, and any addition or accessory designed to meet this objective.

Both protective clothing and equipment are within the scope of the definition, and therefore such items as diverse as safety footwear, waterproof clothing, safety helmets, gloves, high-visibility clothing, eye protection and safety harnesses are covered by the Regulations.

The requirements of the Regulations do not apply to most respiratory protective equipment, ear protectors and some other types of PPE because they are already covered by existing Regulations such as CoSHH, Iodising Radiations Regulations, Control of Lead and Asbestos at Work Regulations and the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations.

Requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 are to:

  • provide PPE where risks to health and safety cannot be controlled adequately by other means (i.e. PPE should only be used as a last resort)
  • select PPE that is suitable for the risks to be protected against (these risks should have been assessed under the Management Regulations 1999)
  • maintain PPE to acceptable standards
  • provide suitable storage accommodation
  • ensure that the PPE provided is properly used
  • ensure employees are given appropriate training, information and instruction in the use, etc. of the PPE provided

In addition, employees have duties to make proper use of the PPE and to report any losses or defects immediately.