Head Protection for Turban Wearing Sikhs
In Section 11 of the Employment Act 1989 any turban-wearing Sikh was exempt from the requirement to wear a safety helmet / head protection on a construction site; although this did not apply to any other sector.
Now, from December 3rd 2015, this exemption has been extended to any sector in the workplace, and includes employees and visitors, as outlined in section 6 of the Deregulation Act 2015.
This exemption does not apply to Sikhs who do not wear turbans, and does not apply to any other form of Personal Protective Equipment.
Any attempt to insist that a turban-wearing Sikh must wear head protection would be classed as discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, and might trigger a claim for indirect discrimination by Sikhs who are disadvantaged by it.
However, should a Sikh choose not to wear head protection and then suffer an injury, loss or damage, the employer would only be liable for the injury loss or damage that would have been sustained even if the individual had been wearing a helmet.
For more information visit the HSE website here or contact SafetyNow for details of our health and safety consultancy service.