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Member updates 29/01/2018

The BSIF has welcomed Hughes Safety Showers as the latest member of the federation.

As a leading manufacturer of emergency safety showers, eye/face wash and decontamination equipment since 1968, Hughes understands the importance of compliance to International and European standards to ensure the satisfactory operation of this life-saving equipment. 

Hughes is built on a strong foundation of design and engineering excellence with the aim of exceeding customer expectations by providing innovative, specialised industrial safety solutions to suit all applications. By joining the BSIF and participating in the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme, Hughes are reinforcing their commitment to protect the safety of workforces subjected to hazardous environments, whatever the challenge or location.

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New Registered Safety Supplier Scheme website 31/01/2018

The BSIF is delighted to announce the launch of the new Registered Safety Supplier Scheme website at www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk 

The Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS) historically focused on the threat posed by fake and counterfeit products and fake and counterfeit certification. However, in addition to this problem, a much more pernicious threat has become apparent and that is the failure of PPE to match the performance claims that the CE certification denotes and crucially the performance that users anticipate.

If the outcome of an employer’s risk assessment includes the necessity for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) it is the law that it must provide adequate protection against the hazard and it must be suitable for the individual.

The BSIF is dedicated to eliminating non-compliant, unsafe, counterfeit and illegal safety products from the UK market and provides a quality assurance scheme for the purchase of genuine PPE that will help to keep people safe and healthy at work.

The number of non-compliant, illegal and poorly performing safety products offered for sale in the UK market is significant and all organisations and individuals sourcing PPE and related equipment need assurance that the markings, documentation and claims for the performance of the product are genuine.
The BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme has been strengthened to provide assurance to PPE customers and users that only compliant and correctly performing products are supplied.

The RSSS website

The new website for the RSSS scheme is designed to enable end users to understand, engage and utilise the scheme in a much easier and straightforward way. The site's visitors will now have full access to the members of the scheme thanks to the supplier search function and the supplier list page.

The supplier search function is designed so that a buyer of PPE can put in their chosen location and a radius to this (from 5 miles up to 100 miles) and then click search. The results will then show all Registered Safety Suppliers within the chosen radius. This makes it easy for the purchaser to source their required product from the supplier directly. The search results also show contact details and the supplier's website meaning that their entire range of products is available to the user.

The supplier list page has an individual section for each member of the scheme and includes logo, company name and website, again to make it very easy for the user to find PPE.

Supporters of the scheme are also encouraged to get involved and can benefit from declaring that as a purchaser of PPE they will source product, where possible, from RSSS members because they see the importance of using a reputable and compliant organisation who has joined the scheme due to their commitment to good safety practices. By aligning up as a supporter they benefit from having the company logo put on to the RSSS website to promote their commitment to the scheme and the fact they are using best practice when it comes to purchasing PPE.

The login area for supporters also provides them with access to BSIF campaign downloads, latest industry news and updates in legislation from the EU.

'Ask BSIF' is another benefit of the new site and allows consumers to ask us any questions relating to Safety & Health by filling out the online form. We will then come back with the answer to their query.

We hope that by developing this website the RSSS will become a lot easier to access and be used by all of those who are involved in the sourcing of Personal Protective Equipment, therefore combating and illuminating the threat of non-compliant, fake and illegal PPE within the market place.

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From the CEO's desk: Brexit, the EU Commission and PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 26/01/2018

The safety and health industry took its first steps into 2018 in the knowledge that the new Regulation becomes effective from the 21st April 2018. For the last three years BSIF and our member companies, active in marketing PPE, have been absorbed in all of the preparation.

The transition to the new Regulation, which has little impact on the performance of product, has involved a great deal of background work to provide accurate interpretation covering what was new in the document, changes in product categorisation, the timescales involved, and the expanded obligations on “economic operators”.

Within this body of work there has been a great deal of negotiation on the details to ensure preparatory work, as far as it could be, has been targeted effectively. One of the final items for which crucial clarity was sought, and achieved last November / December was the interpretation of the validity of existing EC Product Type Certificates, where it was confirmed that they would remain valid until 2023 unless they had an earlier expiry date or the standard had been superseded.

BSIF has been lobbying very hard with Westminster and The Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) making the case to protect the status of the UK’s Notified Bodies who provide UK product testing and CE certification. Notified Body status within the EU depends on being part of an EU Member State and of course with Brexit that would not be the case, post the UK withdrawal on the 30th March 2019. BSIF has always promoted the benefits of achieving a mutual recognition agreement to support both the Notified Bodies and the UK safety and health industry.

While always a key focus for the Federation this work has been driven front and centre in January 2018 with the EU Commission issuing a notice concerning the effect of Brexit. 

The European Commission detailed the effect of the UK leaving the European Union on all economic operators within the remaining 27 members, and the implications for UK Notified Bodies and future product certification. Please be clear that this notice does not take account of any transitional or ongoing Mutual Recognition Agreement that may yet be arrived at.

As of the date of withdrawal (00.00h 30th March 2019) distributors based in the remaining 27 EU countries that wish to place on the market PPE products sourced from the UK will become “Importers” into the EU, and will then take on the additional obligations of an importer. For products supplied into the UK it should be remembered that in the event that we do not reach any separate agreement, then the reality is that they (the EU) will not determine the conditions under which PPE is placed on the UK market. This would of course be the responsibility of UK authorities alone.

BSIF are in communication with The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for their official interpretation of this notice as it also states that products placed on the EU market will require certification issued by a Notified Body from within the EU. It states that for products currently certified by a UK Notified Body this can be done by applying for a new certificate (from an EU NB), or by an arrangement to transfer the current certificate to an EU NB, which will then take on future responsibility for it. 

The impact of this would be that product which has been certified under the PPE Directive 89/686 or after April 2018 under Regulation (EU) 2016 / 425 by a UK based Notified Body would require to be re-certified by a non UK Notified Body where previously this was not articulated and the interpretation was that these certificates would unless otherwise detailed be valid until 2023. We believe that this will cause major disruption for members who hold certificates for product that they currently sell into the EU market. It will also cause unnecessary disruption for commercial operators, manufacturers and brand owners based outside of the UK who have chosen to use UK Notified Bodies for their product certification.

We are through the European Safety Federation in touch with the EU Commission to seek immediate clarification of this interpretation. We will continue with increased urgency to lobby the UK Government and the Department for Exiting the EU for a Mutual Recognition Agreement to be in place in time for our withdrawal from the EU to address these points, during the time remaining. We will keep you informed as the situation develops. 

The Commission document which we recommend you read can be downloaded from the BSIF website through this link http://www.bsif.co.uk/economic-operators-and-ppe-certification-after-brexit/

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In the spotlight with Dale Stokes 26/01/2018

Every issue we put a BSIF member in the spotlight to share their thoughts on PPE and worker safety & health. This month we talk to Dale Stokes, board member of The BSIF and managing director, Bunzl Cleaning and Safety

1) What was your first job?

Saturday & holiday role as a ‘Sunshop Consultant’ for Boots the Chemist recommending which sun creams customers should select for different skin types. I like to think I’ve been helping to protect customers in the safety & health industry since I began as a 15 year old!!

2) How did you get into the safety & health industry?

I was MD of a distribution business that supported a range of leading FMCG and retail brands such as Coca-Cola, Heineken, Morrisons and Shell. We sold the business to Bunzl in March 2013 and I stayed on to run the business and complete some further acquisitions before being invited in June 2016 to relocate to London and lead our UK cleaning & safety distribution businesses.

It was, and is, an exciting move - the chance to build on a business with origins back to the 1850’s but ensure we lead the agenda in the UK with a customer centric approach that’s obsessive about helping our customers protect their people every day.

 3) Who, in any other industry, do you most admire and why?

Pretty much any leader who builds a truly customer-centric business. I’m obsessive about ensuring a ‘WOW Customer Experience’ - the basics of ‘service’ must always be there of ensuring our customers get the correct products delivered to the correct location but ‘customer experience’ is so much more than just delivering a box of product - understanding our customers business needs, the risks faced by their team members and how we can deploy our expertise to keep them safe & compliant. At all stages for the supply process we look for challenges and pain points and designing ways to alleviate those. At times, there are arguably many B2C businesses that are so much stronger than the B2B sector in this regard, something we’re leading the way with changing.

4) How would you improve the safety & health industry in the UK?

We’re making great headway in embracing innovations such as wearable technology to help our customers navigate various industry challenges – counterfeit PPE, correctly specified items being worn for the correct use and end-to-end sustainable supply chain management, from PPE issue to collection, destruction and recycling. Accelerating technology adoption in our sector can only help to reduce risks and improve the data safety & health professionals can give back to their internal stakeholders.

With the customer experience in mind, it’s great to see an increasing focus on the real end-user of PPE products. Colleagues wearing PPE are doing so for most of their working day, week and indeed life, often in challenging conditions. PPE has got to be properly specified to protect but it’s also got to be supremely comfortable. It’s absurd it’s taken the industry so long to get on the front foot with developments such as female specific PPE and I want to make sure our safety businesses lead the way in always considering the ultimate end-user when we’re working on product development and testing.

5) What is the best way to combat negative attitudes towards health & safety?

Like many areas of progression, it’s a journey and one I think many health & safety professionals are making good headway in. Ultimately it’s about education but doing so in practical ways with real examples. Our role is to help customers understand what is changing and how they can be reassured that we have it under control and can take the complexity out of this for them.

6) What is the best advice you could give to someone new coming into the safety and PPE industry?

As a relative newcomer myself, I’ve found the industry to be blessed with some very knowledgeable people who have helped to shape it into what it’s become. Some of my most productive time has been spent with those people asking question upon question upon question!

Overall, the whole world of safety & PPE may at times not seem as glamorous a career step as perhaps working for, say, a tech business or fashion retailer. But why couldn’t it be? It’s a traditional sector at times but so, so critical - lives, quite literally, depend on it, which is perhaps as big a responsibility as there can be. If you’re new to the sector, bring those outside perspectives in and shout about them and let’s ‘steal with pride’ from other sectors!

7) What do you think the medium term future holds for the safety & health and PPE industry in the UK? 

Clearly the seminal event this year is the introduction of the new PPE Regulations. I hope the PPE Regulations become everything they promise to be - a real step-change and bar-raising event for our sector.

We’ve worked hard to ensure all our customer facing team members across our business have an in-depth understanding of the PPE Regs, with extensive training undertaken to be able to advise and support our customers. We see this not as a commercial opportunity but as a chance to help shape our industry for years to come and help our customers to steer a path through the enhanced legislative requirements.

8) If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, to a dinner with you, who would they be and why?

From a business perspective, it’d be fascinating to have dinner with Howard Schultz, Chair of Starbucks, and Larry Page from Google. The former has innovated to scale up a business in a sector that has effectively existed for hundreds of years in one form or another but never been grasped and conquered in the way Starbucks now have.   Converse to that you’ve got Google which quite literally couldn’t have existed 20 years ago and has effectively innovated with something we didn’t even realise we needed in our lives to great effect, with every indication being they’ve barely yet begun.

The third invite, and seat at the head of the table, would be reserved for Bill Shankly, pretty much just to say thank you! I’m a huge Liverpool FC fan, I went to my first game at 9 months old and remain a season ticket holder today. Shankly was the architect of everything that followed and the countless highs, and one of two lows, enjoyed by four generations of my family.

9) Occupational Health is a big part of the HSE’s “Helping Britain Work Well” strategy, how do you think safety can retain the profile that it requires?

Safety is intrinsic to good health strategies so anything that brings greater awareness to Occupational Health or Wellbeing should see a halo effect on the profile of the safety industry. Footwear is a great example of where approaches are changing – where it may once have been about just issuing an employee with a compliant piece of footwear, we’re now working with our customers on initiatives to take that to fresh heights such as our foot scanning roadshows where we can take pop-up equipment to fully scan a workforce and identify not only what footwear is appropriate for them but also innersoles to really ensure great fit and comfort.

10) Do you see the new sentencing guidelines on health and safety offences affecting businesses, yet? 

Great progress has been made across small, medium & large enterprises to raise the bar on awareness and investment by organisations in health & safety. The bar today is so much higher than it was 10 years ago which was higher again from 10 years before that. That’s continual progress and legislation, and sentencing guidelines, will hopefully play their role in keeping and building that momentum.

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European activity 19/01/2018

BSIF are a member of the European Safety Federation (ESF), within which national organisations similar to ours in other European countries come together to address European-wide issues. Alan Murray, CEO of BSIF, is President Elect and will shortly take over the Presidency of the ESF.

As the ESF is based in Brussels it is perfectly placed to interact with the European Commission and Parliament on a day to day basis, and in recent years with the introduction of the PPE Regulation (PPER) the BSIF has been working closely with the ESF to lobby the EU Commission for clarity on a number of points which are still unclear, and open to misinterpretation. 

One such issue was the date by which products will need to be re-certified to the PPER. Following discussions at the last PPE Working Group in Brussels, of which BSIF are a stakeholder member, the Commission issued guidance on the interpretation of Article 47 on transition to the new Regulation. In summary, unless 

  • the design and/or manufacture of the product has changed since its last EC Type Examination, or 
  • the ‘state of the art’ has changed (i.e. the applicable standard has been revised with significant changes on safety clauses, withdrawal of current versions, etc.), or 
  • the product will be in a different category under the Regulation, 

the product can be placed on the market using a current EC Type Examination Certificate until 21st April 2023 (or until the expiry date of the certificate if it is earlier).

This refers only to certification. The product itself must be in compliance with the Regulation from 21st April 2019 at the latest. If none of 1-3 above apply, then as a minimum the product markings and user instructions must be updated as required by the PPER, and a new EU Declaration of Conformity must be produced. What this decision means is that the EU Declaration of Conformity can be based on a valid EC Type Examination Certificate until 21st April 2023. The guidance document itself can be viewed and downloaded on the BSIF website, www.bsif.co.uk.

The BSIF and the ESF have together been lobbying for this outcome for some time, and the EU Commission has agreed that, as changes to the Essential Safety Requirements between the Directive and the Regulation are minimal, it would be disproportionate to require all PPE to be subject to immediate re-certification. This guidance will allow the process to take place over a sensible time frame to avoid a ‘log jam’ of applications (now, and every five years to come), and the resulting potential for a dangerous shortage of PPE for the user while re-certifications are pending.

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Association news 15/01/2018

The BSIF is pleased to announce that it has launched the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS) Website.

The website – www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk – is designed to help end users source products from reputable businesses who have signed up to the scheme in order to show their commitment to providing consumers with the highest levels of service and product quality. The scheme is committed to removing the influx of non-compliant, fake and illegal products that can be found within the supply chain of non RSSS members. All RSSS members are audited to make sure their products are up to standard and do the job they were designed to do.

The new website has some easy to use, beneficial features such as the supplier search function. This allows someone looking to purchase safety equipment to put in their location in the UK and search within a specified radius for safety suppliers. The website will then generate a list of the suppliers in the locality and show these on the interactive map with full contact details and links to their websites…its never been so easy to source compliant product!

The website also allows purchasers of safety equipment to sign up as a ‘Supporter’ of the scheme. This enables them to have a login to the members area where they will find useful downloads, news articles and industry updates all free to use. By signing up to the scheme as a supporter, the purchaser is making a statement that they conform to best practice and have the safety of their workforce at the forefront of their business mindset. As an added benefit, supporters can have their company logo added to the website to show that they recognise the importance of the RSSS and to show to others they are committed to safety.

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What's current 15/01/2018

With the New Year comes the new BSIF Reference Guide. The 2018 version of the industry must-have is packed full of useful information relating to the UK’s safety & health Industry.

The guide features articles from all sectors of the industry and offers view points from those working within the industry that keeps people safe at work.

It is seen as a reference source for industry to assist the accessing of safety products and services along with the general information on occupational health & safety.

The guide is available in 3 mediums: hard copy, digital copy and also through the BSIF App. 

Also featured are the contact details for the companies working within the sector and so the guide acts as a directory of businesses making it easy to contact anyone within the market place. To view the digital copy click here.

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Upcoming events 15/01/2018

BSIF will be taking part in the Occupational Safety & Health Event being run by Forum Events on the 7th February 2018 at the Radisson Blu, Stansted Airport.

OSH Forum is a highly focused event that brings together buyers and suppliers. The forum consists of one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities, all to enable you to create lasting business relationships.

BSIF will be running a seminar with the focus on effective supply chains in the sourcing of PPE and how the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme is improving the standard of product being sourced.

If you would like further information on the event please visit https://oshforum.co.uk/

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Member updates 15/01/2018

The BSIF has welcomed Hughes Safety Showers as the latest member of the federation.

As a leading manufacturer of emergency safety showers, eye/face wash and decontamination equipment since 1968, Hughes understands the importance of compliance to International and European standards to ensure the satisfactory operation of this life-saving equipment. 

Hughes is built on a strong foundation of design and engineering excellence with the aim of exceeding customer expectations by providing innovative, specialised industrial safety solutions to suit all applications. By joining the BSIF and participating in the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme, Hughes are reinforcing their commitment to protect the safety of workforces subjected to hazardous environments, whatever the challenge or location.

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Seton joins Registered Safety Supplier Scheme 12/12/2017

Seton has announced its partnership with the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and their Registered Safety Supplier Scheme.

As part of a global family of workplace equipment suppliers, Seton UK has become synonymous with providing high-quality safety solutions for all. Membership of the BSIF confirms this status and reasserts Seton’s commitment to providing products that meet or exceed accepted industry standards.

Seton’s pledge is “Safety Made Easy”. By joining the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme, Seton takes the hassle out of finding not just appropriately approved PPE, but also a wealth of other top quality safety supplies.

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