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Personal Protective equipment: Who pays for PPE clothing?

An employer, as the controller of a workplace, has the responsibility to provide personal protective equipment and clothing to employees, in order to protect the workers’ health and safety while they are carrying out work for the employer.

Under health and safety legislation, an employer cannot charge its workers, or deduct from their wages, the cost of the PPE that the workers are required to wear to reduce a health and safety risk.

Who should purchase the PPE?

Employers can provide an allowance to workers that covers the cost of the PPE rather than purchasing and providing it to workers. But if the worker purchases the PPE themselves, an employer is then responsible for ensuring that it meets the minimum standards required by health and safety legislation – this involves conducting checks and tests on the PPE.

What about uniforms and shoes?

Employers are not required to pay for the clothing that a worker wears to work if it is not considered PPE. If you are wondering how to determine whether something is considered as PPE – consider if the piece of clothing worn is to protect the worker in protective way from a health and safety risk. If the answer is yes – the employer is required to provide or pay for the clothing. If the answer is no – then the employer is not required to provide or pay for the clothing. Always remember that PPE is only part of reducing a risk in the workplace. It is not always a completely suitable method of risk reduction where they may well be operational hazards that have been identified in the workplace. Finally, employees , should be aware that wearing Hi Viz vests outside the workplace as an article of clothing , does not place responsibility on the employer if something happens outside the workplace and working hours.

Published 22 June, 2022
Publisher Editior
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