The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) is calling upon individuals working in the transport industry to ensure that quality CE approved PPE is used at all times.
PPE is defined in the Regulations as: ‘all equipment which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him or her against one or more risks to his health and safety, e.g. safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses.’
The main requirement of the PPE at Work Regulations 1992 is that personal protective equipment is to be supplied and used at work wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. The problem arises when organisations believe they are purchasing adequate PPE for the workforce, when in fact the products may be fake or illegal.
Unfortunately fake and illegal products being manufactured and sold within the PPE industry is an increasingly common problem. Over recent years, a plethora of items have entered the market place, from gloves to high visibility vests, which have been produced using sub standard materials.
Due to the purpose of the equipment, PPE needs to meet stringent performance standards. Quality, CE approved PPE meets and often exceeds these performance requirements and hence will protect individuals from hazards faced in the workplace. The use of fake and illegal products could prove fatal.
Obviously the size of this problem is something that cannot be fixed overnight but measures have been put in place to help combat the counterfeit PPE trend. Ongoing communication between manufacturers and end-users is paramount.
David Lummis, Chief Executive Officer of the BSIF comments: “Many of these counterfeit products arrive in containers from the Far East and can be readily purchased via online auction sites or from street markets. It is quite easy to buy containers of ‘safety’ equipment direct and of course without the correct quality control procedures in place, the buyer will not have a clue what they are purchasing, thereby endangering lives.”
“Certified goods will always be paramount in the health and safety world and being extra vigilent when looking after your workforce is essential when health and lives are at risk.”