Can the employer give employees used protective clothing?

Pursuant to Art. 207 par. 2 of the Labour Code (hereinafter: the Labour Code), the employer is obliged to protect the health and life of employees by ensuring safe and hygienic working conditions, with appropriate use of the achievements of science and technology. Joke. 2376 par. 1 of the Labour Code results from the employer’s obligation to provide employees with personal protective equipment free of charge, protecting against the effects of hazardous and harmful factors occurring in the work environment, and to inform employees about the methods of using these means.

Moreover, pursuant to Art. 2377 par. 1 of the Labour Code the employer is obliged to provide employees with work clothing and footwear, free of charge, that meet the requirements set out in the Polish Standards.

Personal protective equipment should be used in situations where the risks cannot be avoided or cannot be sufficiently limited by means of collective protection measures or appropriate work organization. Personal protective equipment provided to employees for use should:

  • be appropriate to the existing threat and not create an increased risk of itself,
  • take into account the conditions in the workplace,
  • take into account the requirements of ergonomics and the employee’s health condition,
  • be properly adjusted to the user – after making the necessary adjustments.

If there is more than one risk and it is necessary to use several PPEs simultaneously, these measures should be adaptable to each other without reducing their protective properties.

Pursuant to Art. 2378 par. 1 of the Labour Code the employer should determine the types of personal protective equipment as well as work clothing and footwear, the use of which is necessary in specific positions, as well as the expected periods of use of work clothing and footwear. The employer is obliged to ensure that the personal protective equipment, clothing and footwear used have protective and functional properties, and in particular that they are used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations specified in the relevant instructions.

In accordance with par. 5 of Annex 2 to the Regulation of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy on general health and safety regulations, personal protective equipment should be intended for personal use. In exceptional cases, personal protective equipment may be used by more than one person, provided that measures have been taken to ensure that such use does not adversely affect the health or hygiene of users. It can therefore be concluded that if the clothing (footwear) has been cleaned and disinfected and will still have the existing, appropriate functional and protective features, it can be given to new employees.


Region Gdański NSZZ „Solidarność”

Projekt otrzymał dofinansowanie z Norwegii poprzez Fundusze Norweskie 2014-2021, w ramach programu „Dialog społeczny – godna praca”.

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