The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) is urging specifiers and buyers of PPE and safety equipment to ensure they check for the BSIF Registered Suppliers shield when buying PPE and safety equipment in the year ahead.
BSIF statistics continue to show the availability of non-compliant PPE and safety equipment is a serious problem. Between December 2021 and December 2022, the BSIF completed tests on 127 non-BSIF member products, which included checking their compliance with relevant standards and testing whether they perform as advertised. Only 18 products were fully compliant, with 108 – or 85% – failing to meet regulatory criteria. Statistics for 2023 are currently being finalised and suggest the failure rate of products from non-BSIF members remains concerningly high at around 80%.
Elsewhere, results from tests undertaken by the Office for Product Safety and Standards released in 2023 found that 80% of products selected for testing from online marketplaces failed safety tests, with PPE featuring in OPSS product recalls. This reinforces the BSIF’s concerns that there is a serious problem with the availability of potentially dangerous and non-compliant goods in the UK.
By contrast, 86% of 387 tests carried out by the BSIF on products supplied by members of the BSIF’s Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS) passed immediately. The issues around the remaining 14% were then resolved, and all 387 products are now fully compliant.
What responsibilities do PPE and safety equipment buyers and specifiers have?
Anyone in charge of buying PPE and safety equipment has a responsibility to select appropriate, certified and compliant products that meet workers’ specific requirements.
The BSIF recommends that buyers and end users follow a simple three-step process to ensure their PPE and safety equipment is fit for purpose:
- CHECK your supplier is a BSIF Registered Supplier. BSIF-audited suppliers are compliant, competent and trustworthy.
- SELECT appropriate, certified and approved products. Registered Safety Suppliers can support the product selection process through their competence, capability and knowledge.
- PROTECT your people, your most precious asset, and help your business to thrive.
Pledge your support
The BSIF invites you to join the growing number of public and private sector organisations who are pledging their support for the BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme and declaring their commitment to checking for the Registered Safety Supplier Shield when procuring PPE and safety products.
Alan Murray, BSIF CEO, said: “Unfortunately there is a significant volume of substandard and poor quality PPE and safety products finding their way onto the market in the UK potentially leaving workers and workplaces unprotected.
“We urge anyone responsible for buying these goods to make 2024 the year they take the risk out of buying PPE and safety equipment and always check for the shield.”
Find out about becoming more involved with the BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.