Almost two years after a well known British general builders merchants was fined £14,000 for selling substandard, non compliant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the very real problem fake PPE poses to worker safety and health still exists.
This case was the result of Trading Standards officers finding safety helmets failing impact tests, highlighting fake PPE may be found in reputable stores across the country and workers risk being exposed to it without realising.
It is worrying that products are still failing to perform as they claim amidst varied and extensive regulations stating that PPE must be manufactured to comply with standards. Users and buyers have the right to expect them to do what they are supposed to.
This problem needs a solution, which is where the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has stepped in, developing the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS). This scheme indicates how the BSIF as the leading trade body for the safety industry can make the lives of trading standards officers easier by implementing strategies that stop these cases happening in the first place.
Members of the scheme have made a binding declaration that the safety equipment that they offer users are genuine and that they fully comply with the PPE regulations and are appropriately CE marked. All companies displaying the scheme logo are independently audited to confirm their compliance to the requirements and responsibility of the scheme. A full listing of Registered Safety Suppliers can be found here.
It is clear that Trading Standards and the BSIF can work together to ensure the safety and health of workers.
Work on establishing a long lasting relationship between both organisations has already begun, with the BSIF joining the Trading Standards and recently exhibiting at the CTSI Conference in Bournemouth in June. At this event introductions were made and as a result a representative of the BSIF has been invited to make a presentation on substandard PPE to some Trading Standards regional groups.
Commenting on this activity Alan Murray, CEO of the BSIF said “The BSIF and Trading Standards are at the beginning of what I know will be a worthwhile journey as we are both dedicated to stamping out substandard and counterfeit product which risks the lives of UK workers and has devastating effects on their families”.
British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF)
Established in 1994, the BSIF is the UK’s leading trade body for the safety industry. The Federation represents manufacturers and distributors of safety, health and environmental products; training companies; safety and environmental consultancies; together with accreditation and inspection houses, publishers and risk management consultancies. It is a Health and Safety Executive-recognised competent authority and the lead trade body for the PPE Regulations, as designated by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
As a membership organisation, the Federation is clearly focused to bring benefits to its members, something which its core values and mission statement reflect. Its core values – influential, knowledgeable, beneficial and supportive – drive the BSIF’s everyday aims, to support and represent suppliers of safety products and services across all aspects of safety legislation, standards making and major occupational safety issues. Its mission statement – to continue to improve occupational safety, protect and develop the safety and environment protection markets and generate benefits for its members – will continue to drive the Federation over the next years. The BSIF will carry on working with its members and other relevant bodies to help ensure the industry is ‘working together in safety’.