Trade union body the TUC has slammed what it has called the “scandal” of workers being forced to pay for their own protective safety equipment.
A survey published in August showed that, despite laws that state employers must give their staff personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge, more than one in five workers were being forced to pay for it out of their own pocket.
PPE includes protective clothing, helmets and goggles that are designed to protect workers from injury, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals and infection.
More than one in 10 of those who responded to the questionnaire said that, although their work required them to wear safety equipment of some kind, their employer failed to provide or pay for it. A further 8.9% were made to pay for any replacement equipment if their original PPE was damaged.
More than one in five said that they had to pay for providing or replacing all or some of the equipment they needed for their work.
Female workers were even less likely than men to have their safety equipment provided, with more than 15% having to provide all or some of their own attire, compared with 10.5% of male respondents.