BSIF issues PPE warning

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has issued a warning to those overseeing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety product procurement after tests on non-member products highlighted the widespread availability of substandard and even dangerous items.

Between December 2022 and December 2023, the BSIF examined 123 non-member products, assessing advertised performance, marking adequacy and compliance with standards. Only 21% – 26 products – proved fully compliant. This left a staggering 79% – 97 products – falling short of testing criteria. Worryingly, many of these substandard products are still available and in use.

Some examples include a flame-retardant parka with an outer layer that burnt through during testing, exposing the inner layer, which then caught fire; a respiratory protective mask (FFP3) that performed at only half the required level during filter penetration tests against contaminants; and a pair of safety spectacles with lenses that broke when struck by a projectile.

For buyers and end users seeking assurance, the BSIF Shield is a respected mark of credibility. BSIF CEO Alan Murray says: “Buyers and specifiers must urgently review their procurement processes and consider what assurances they have that the PPE and safety equipment they are being supplied with is fit for purpose.”

For a full list of registered safety suppliers, visit: bit.ly/BSIF_RSSS

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