The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has not changed your duty as an employer to protect people in your workplace from health and safety risks. This includes making sure they are not exposed to hazardous substances as part of their work.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It includes different types of respiratory protective equipment (RPE), such as respirators.
Face coverings are not PPE as they do not protect people from work-related hazardous substances. They may protect others, not the wearer, against COVID-19.
We have more advice on face coverings and face masks.
PPE for protection against COVID-19 is generally only required for certain healthcare activities.
In a non-clinical setting, you can provide the same PPE as you would have done before the pandemic.There is no need to provide alternative PPE.
Using any form of PPE is a last resort after you have assessed the risks.
Find out more in our employer's guidance on your legal duties for providing PPE at work.
We review and update this page regularly to reflect any changes in guidance.
Page last reviewed: 30 September 2021
Next review due: 31 October 2021