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BSIF announces support for Maintec 2018 05/06/2018

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), the trade body for the UK’s safety industry, has announced its support for Maintec, the UK exhibition dedicated to maintenance, plant and asset management held at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 & 7 November 2018.

The BSIF, which provides support and guidance on a wide range of occupational safety issues, will be attending Maintec 2018 in recognition of safety being an increasingly important addition to the maintenance engineers' job responsibility.

The show has a proven track record of attracting visitors from across multiple industries including; energy, manufacturing, automotive, hazardous environments, aerospace, utilities, oil & gas, food & drink, rail and ports & marine – all of which require the highest standards of safety training and equipment on a daily basis. 

Following the announcement of Bosch Rexroth’s event sponsorship last month, the new partnership is just one of the latest developments the event organisers are making to this year’s Maintec.
 
Tim Else, director at Western Business Exhibitions, said: “It is vital that Maintec remains a platform for the maintenance, reliability and asset management communities to meet, learn and do business.

“Following feedback from our audience, we have made some important changes to the format of the event this year. One of our commitments to the Maintec visitor audience is to increase the range of manufacturers and suppliers that they can meet during the event. We are pleased to be able to host the BSIF and their members on our showfloor and extend the existing ongoing partnership between the BSIF and Western Business Exhibitions.”

 
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From the CEO's desk: Selling or marketing PPE under the Regulation (EU) 2016/425? 24/05/2018

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has been supporting its membership over the last years as we moved towards the new PPE Regulation and as we move away from the Directive under which the market has worked for more than a quarter of a century. Despite all the consultations and forum discussions there still appears to be many examples where economic operators in the market are less than clear as to their responsibilities and obligations.

A particular issue under live debate currently is the status within the Regulation of products placed on the market against products being made available. Within the Regulation there is clear definition but only when there are clear differences in roles between Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors. We know that in the PPE market many businesses can fulfil all 3 of these roles when marketing an item of PPE. BSIF has submitted a specific question on this and other issues for guidance from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). We will advise the membership when we have answers.

The new regulation is now “applicable” as of 21st April 2018. The original Directive has now been repealed, though product can still be placed on the market under the Directive until April 2019. One of the more interesting changes in the Regulation centre around the additional detailed obligations and responsibilities that have been placed on economic operators, such as importers and distributors who are involved in the PPE supply chain. 

Some though not all of the additional obligations on importers are:

To only place compliant PPE on the market. To ensure the PPE has the technical documentation available, the conformity assessment has been carried out, the correct markings are available and the PPE is accompanied with the required documents. To indicate, on the PPE their product ID and postal address where they can be contacted. To ensure transport and storage do not jeopardize the PPE’s conformity.

Some though not all of the additional obligations on distributors are:

They must act with due care. To verify that the PPE bears the correct markings and is accompanied by the required documents in a language that can be easily understood by the consumers.

To not make PPE available in the market if the PPE is considered not to meet the essential health & safety requirements. To ensure transport and storage do not jeopardize the PPE’s conformity.

BSIF has developed a comprehensive “Compliance Protocol” by which members can demonstrate how they comply with these responsibilities. The Compliance Protocol has been publicly supported by Trading Standards. 

If you are selling or marketing PPE there has never been a greater need to be part of BSIF.

On the other hand if you are buying or specifying PPE there has never been more reason to demand it from a BSIF Registered Safety Supplier!

The BSIF is the trade association for all organisations involved in the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety related products and services. From this position, the Federation believes strongly that occupational users have a right to expect their safety equipment to be of good quality, to protect them adequately, and to be fully compliant with all relevant regulations and requirements.

Furthermore, the BSIF believes passionately that all users, specifiers and purchasers of such equipment deserve to be serviced and supported by capable, knowledgeable and responsible suppliers.

All member businesses of the BSIF involved in the supply of PPE and related safety equipment are required to sign up and adhere to the requirements of the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme which places a number of obligations on the organisation. They are required to:

  • Make a formal and binding commitment that all PPE and related products supplied will comply with the requirements of the applicable regulations.
  • Maintain a quality management system and embed within it an Industry Code of Practice statement.
  • Have the capability to manage a product recall process and take other corrective actions in compliance with British Standard’s PAS 7100:2018 or equivalent.
  • Submit to the audit of one product per year randomly selected from their offering. For PPE this will include testing of the product to one or more clauses from any EN product performance standard to which certification is claimed. For safety equipment outside of mainstream PPE and not regulated by publicly available standards, it will include an audit of their quality policy and all relevant regulatory documentation.
  • Commit to educate and accredit customer facing staff to the Ofqual Level 2 BSIF Safe Supply Course and Qualification or other appropriate qualifications.
  • For Importers and Distributors, demonstrate that they comply with the “Obligations and Responsibilities” required under the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 by maintaining the appropriate BSIF Compliance Protocol or equivalent for each product.

This provides a significant layer of confidence for users and a differentiator for suppliers from competitors who do not make such commitments. When sourcing PPE and related occupational safety equipment buyers can look for the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme logo.

End user companies can register as supporters of the scheme on the dedicated supporter’s website: www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk

When registering here supporters can find additional resources and news of networking events. Their company logo will be displayed, along with their commitment to always seek to source their PPE and related safety equipment needs from a BSIF Registered Safety Supplier.

Alan Murray

BSIF chief executive

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PPE Regulations 18/05/2018

Under the New PPE Regulation Distributors and Importers now carry clear responsibilities in providing PPE. Become a Registered Safety Supplier with the BSIF and you can demonstrate that your business is compliant.

Statement to Support and Guide UK Commercial Operators from Trading Standards:

Being a member of the British Safety Industry Federation's Registered Safety Supplier Scheme and abiding by its terms and conditions and adhering to the prescribed and Audited Compliance Protocol will provide to Trading Standards, that you have a due diligence system in place to demonstrate compliance with the Obligations and Responsibilities of economic operators as referenced within the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 pertaining to obligations and responsibilities as an ‘Importer’ and or a ‘Distributor’. It does not necessarily provide a guarantee that all products are compliant.

The Trading Standards statement above supports the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme. Demonstrate that your business complies with the PPE Regulation by utilising the required Compliance Protocol, now available for all UK Importers and Distributors as members of the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme.

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BSIF Launch the Safe Supply Qualification 18/05/2018

BSIF is dedicated to supporting those that help to keep the UK safe and healthy while they are at work!

As part of this mission the BSIF membership is committed to only supplying users with PPE and associated Safety Equipment which complies with Standards and is fit for purpose. Our members through the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme commit to educating their customer facing staff in the Safe Supply Qualification.

There are thousands of outlets in the UK who Sell Safety – anyone can! But BSIF believe that users benefit from quality products supplied through a capable supply chain and that is where the Safe Supply Qualification comes in, demonstrating to professional users that their suppliers know what they are talking about.

The Safe Supply Accreditation is an Ofqual recognised level 2 public accreditation covering…

Principles of Legislation in the Health and Safety market

Understanding how Occupational Safety is managed

Principles of CE Marking and Product Standards

Principles of Market Surveillance within the Health and Safety environment

This enables customer facing staff to develop their expertise, knowledge and advice they can provide. The qualified individuals will be able to demonstrate competence and support clients effectively.

Users of PPE and associated Safety Equipment will benefit from a new level of professionalism and partnership in their supply chain.

Following successful piloting of the qualification BSIF are about to launch the Qualification through a series of UK wide roadshows.

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Member Update: Steady Lad! Ltd 18/05/2018

Hitting the Ladder Safety Market after 3 years of development, Steady Lad! is an innovative new ladder base stabiliser just released to the market.

Taking only seconds to deploy, the device forms a stable triangular base for the ladder completely preventing any backward movement. Now a Registered Safety Supplier, Steady Lad! Ltd will be a proactive member of the BSIF championing improvements in ladder safety advice. 

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HAIX Joins BSIF 18/05/2018

HAIX, European footwear manufacturer, is the latest company to join the BSIF.

Known worldwide for top-quality functional boots for a range of sectors including industrial, military and emergency services, the brand prides itself on an exceptional knowledge of latest end user requirements, developing footwear to suit.

Simon Ash, UK sales manager, comments: “HAIX is committed to educating individuals on the importance of quality PPE and we have long admired the strides the BSIF has made in this area, particularly with the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme. We look forward to a closer working relationship with the BSIF membership, collectively shaping the future of the UK market.”

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Webinar Content 18/05/2018

The BSIF will hold our first ever live webinar. This webinar will focus on the changes in law brought about by the regulation and what new responsibilities suppliers of PPE will have.

There are considerably more requirements and obligations written into the new Regulation, especially for Distributors and Importers and the webinar will explain what these are and how those affected by the changes can gain a clear understanding of their new responsibilities to ensure they remain compliant.

You can sign up to the webinar here Complying with the Law Webinar

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Upcoming Events 18/05/2018

BSIF will be exhibiting at the Hotel Facilities Management Exhibition taking place at London Excel on the 25th & 26th September 2018.

With a strong focus on safety equipment within the show, we feel this is an excellent opportunity for us to engage with a sector that has a large requirement for PPE and our technical expertise have been sourced by the event organisers to deliver a seminar to the audience at the show.

BSIF will also be exhibiting at Health & Safety Scotland 12-13th September 2018 as a show partner for the exhibition. The event provides the perfect networking and educational opportunity to anyone responsible for running a safe and efficient workplace, anywhere in the UK. Hear from the industry’s most respected voices with three days of professionally accredited seminar content.

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In the spotlight with Tim Jones 06/04/2018

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 Tim Jones, global market development manager, RPB Safety LLC

1) What was your first job?

My first full time job was as a car detailer back in New Zealand. I had just finished school and had no idea what I wanted to study at university. I always loved cars so it was win win for the year I did it.

After completing my Business and Marketing degree, and taking time out to compete and train full time with sport, I worked five years at one of NZ’s leading advertising agencies, moving up the ranks to senior account manager. 

Part of my portfolio of clients included Super Rugby teams (Crusaders and Highlanders), National Craft Beer Brewery’s, construction, pharmaceutical companies and retail.

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

As it transpired, by complete chance. My first client at the agency was a company called RPB Safety, who I always loved working with due to their extreme energy, passion and drive to create the world’s best for their customers.

At that stage in my life I had only travelled internationally with sports teams, so I was all set to take a year off work to travel to Europe and go backpacking. 

After informing my clients, RPB came back to me and asked: “How would you like to travel the world while working for us?" 

The rest is history…

3) What do you enjoy most about your job?

First and foremost, it has to be the people I get to meet and work with. RPB’s company culture is next level to anything I have ever seen or experienced! I am also thankful for our loyal distributors who feel more like mates than anything else. 

Second, I am incredibly thankful for the travel and cultural opportunities I have been able to, and continue to experience, touching on 50 countries now. Luckily now I am based in the UK, travel is a lot easier than it was from NZ…

4) If you were a film character who would you be and why?

I’d like to say Ryan Gosling, but my wife would tell me I’m dreaming ha ha. In reality I’d probably say Marty McFly off the Back to the Future trilogy, mainly because they're my favorite movies, secondly because time travel would be pretty epic!

5) What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the health and safety industry in the UK?

I am still pretty fresh to the nuances of the UK industry specifically, however from my time visiting companies all over the world, I would say the biggest issue is the actual guy/girl at the coal face doing the job, and cutting corners. 

This may be wearing inappropriate or incorrect PPE (lack of education), or just a poor “She’ll be alright” attitude. 

Given our core business is around respiratory protection, this is even more common as you often can’t “see” the risks, or they don’t affect you in the now (e.g. falling from height immediately compared to a risk that affects you in 30 years’ time).

6) In your opinion, how can these challenges be overcome?

Education, awareness and time. We are at the mercy of a generation of “I have done it this way my whole life and I am fine”. These people are often told about the effects, given correct PPE, but will still resort back to old bad habits. My dad being a prime example…

I find that the majority of younger workers are the ones bringing about a positive change as they are far more aware of risks, health effects, having been brought up with it in general day-to-day life and being the social norm.

From a regulation and enforcement point of view, New Zealand adopted a new one two years ago where fines or infringement notices for non-compliance could now be issued not only to the company, but also to the floor manager or the employee. The latter is in the form of an instant $150 fine (similar to a police fine if they were not wearing a seatbelt). 

This certainly helped in the uptake of correct PPE, in particular supplied air respirators in paint booths. Funnily enough, once these guys were used to the new kit, they said they wouldn’t go back to the old stuff!

7) Have you got any hidden talents or interesting hobbies?

Hobbies wise, it would have to be Swiss Watches, and collecting and restoring Old Italian classic cars. I have been lucky enough over the years to add eight classics to my collection, and was in most parts able to acquire them before the prices internationally went through the roof.

Talents wise, it was usually sports related. In my youth I represented New Zealand in age grade rugby, and competed internationally in athletics as a sprinter, with the highlight, winning Gold in the 200m sprint at the Youth Olympic Games in Sydney. Also I play music daily, mainly guitar.

8) What health and safety issues are you most passionate about? 

Supplied breathing air quality, and multi-functional RPE.

Breathing air in the fact there is in my opinion a massive hole in the regulations currently, where air quality only needs to be checked periodically for “certified air”, when air composition is constantly changing depending on the environment. 

I have heard too many horror stories now where people had “certified” air checked every three months, but then had a fatality, or a serious accident when the air suddenly changed and the user wearing the respirator had no idea until it was too late.

There are products out there now that can guarantee the safety of the breathing air, alarming as soon as the air is no longer within the British standard, however companies still say “technically what we are doing at the moment is fine, so we are not interested”.

In regards to multi-functional RPE, I am referring predominantly to products which serve a multitude of purposes, e.g. respiratory, head, hearing and eye protection, all in one. 

I believe a lot of the kick back from end users to all these types of products in the past is due to most of them originating from a hard hat, and then having all the other bits added on at a later time. This causes them to be bulky, heavy, and most importantly from the user's perspective “uncomfortable”. Especially when they are being tasked with wearing these for upwards of eight hours at a time in some cases.

I love product and industrial design, so it has been a real thrill being part of a team to completely redesign these products from the ground up, with user comfort first, and then making sure everything else integrates perfectly together, and provides the highest level of safety and usability. 

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From the CEO's desk: Personal Protective Equipment Regulation (EU) 2016/425 – The time has come 13/03/2018

The safety and health industry will wake up on the 21st of April 2018 with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulation (EU) 2016/425 in force and the current Directive 89/686 will be repealed.

The Regulation was adopted on the 12th of February 2016 and published on the 31st of March 2016, beginning a two year transition period which comes to its end this April.

End users of PPE need to know that their suppliers are complying with the new Regulation – BSIF makes that simple and straightforward.

The changes will impact across the market, most significantly these will affect the PPE economic operators, but it is important that the end users understand the Regulation.

Based on risk

Within the new Regulation there are some changes that are beneficial to the users. The categorisation of the new Regulation is risk based, not based on the type of PPE. This makes it more straightforward to link selection to the workplace risk assessment. 

Some of the PPE changes from category II to III, the higher risk category and will require more frequent formal quality assurance. This will provide the user with more confidence that the products they are sourcing are fit for purpose. Users should ensure that products which change category from II to III now reflect and comply with the changes. Please note that products already on the market “in distribution” can continue to be sold. Perhaps the most widely used PPE that is changing in risk category are products designed to provide protection against harmful noise – hearing protection.

In addition to hearing protection (harmful noise) other risks that move from category II to III include protection against harmful biological agents, bullet wounds and knife stabs, cuts by hand held chainsaws, high pressure jets and protection from drowning.

The new Regulation also requires that PPE products are accompanied by the Declaration of Conformity (DoC) demonstrating the product’s compliance to the requirements. The DoC can be supplied as part of the product user instructions or through an internet link.

EU – Type testing examination certificates will only be valid for a maximum of five years before requiring renewal by a Notified Body.

When the manufacturer of the product is not based in the EU the address of the importer will be added to the product or to the accompanying documents and “Online” sale will see stricter controls. 

Assures product compliance

Overall from a user’s perspective the Regulation goes a long way to ensure that processes are in place to assure product compliance. The Regulation does this through placing more detailed responsibilities on “economic operators” making up the PPE supply chain. Economic operators include:

Manufacturer: who manufactures the PPE, or has it designed and/or manufactured and markets it under his name or trademark.

Authorised Representative: established within the EU and holds a written mandate from the manufacturer to act on his behalf in relation to specific tasks.

Importer: established within the EU and places PPE from a third country on the EU market.

Distributor: involved in the supply chain, makes PPE available on the market, and is other than the manufacturer or importer. 

Note that distributors and importers who place PPE on the market under their own name or brand take on ALL the obligations of the manufacturer.

All economic operators will have an obligation to: take corrective actions in case of non-compliance and inform the competent authorities where PPE presents a risk. To cooperate with authorities and provide all the information necessary to demonstrate compliance in a language which can be easily understood by that authority. 

  • Manufacturers and authorised representatives must keep the product technical file and the EU Declaration of Conformity available for 10 years after PPE is placed on the market. Importers also need to keep the DoC for 10 years, and ensure the technical file can be made available.
  • Manufacturers shall ensure that procedures are in place for series production to remain in conformity with the PPE Regulation, and manufacturers and importers shall, if necessary, carry out sample testing of PPE made available in the market, keep a register of complaints and keep distributors informed of such monitoring.

Additional obligations on importers are:

  • To only place compliant PPE on the market.
  • To ensure the PPE has the technical documentation available, the conformity assessment has been carried out, the correct markings are available and the PPE is accompanied by the required documents.
  • To indicate on the PPE their product ID and postal address where they can be contacted.
  • To ensure transport and storage do not jeopardize the PPE’s conformity.

From an end user’s point of view their front line relationship is normally with their distributor. It is the distributor who supplies them with their PPE and is normally the first port of call for everyday advice. End users should know that there are further detailed obligations and responsibilities placed on their distributors in order for them to be allowed to sell PPE. 

  • To act with due care.
  • To verify that the PPE bears the correct markings and is accompanied by the required documents in a language that can be easily understood by the consumers.
  • To not make PPE available in the market if the PPE is considered not to meet the essential health and safety requirements.
  • To ensure transport and storage do not jeopardize the PPE’s conformity.
     

RSSS membership

End users must ensure that their supplier fulfils his obligations under the Regulation! How does an end user achieve this? It is straightforward! An end user of PPE should request proof that his supplier is part of the British Safety Industry Federation’s Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS). Membership of the RSSS demonstrates an assurance of quality and capability which users should demand.

With the new Regulation now becoming applicable, a BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme member will be able to ensure that he complies by utilising the audited checklists designed to verify that they are managing their “Obligations and Responsibilities”.

This is confirmed by the statement from Trading Standards below:

Statement to Support and Guide UK Commercial Operators from Trading Standards

Being a member of the British Safety Industry Federation Registered Safety Supplier Scheme and abiding by its terms and conditions and adhering to the prescribed and Audited Checklist Protocol will provide to Trading Standards, that you have a due diligence system in place to demonstrate compliance with the Obligations and Responsibilities of economic operators as referenced within the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 pertaining to obligations and responsibilities as an “Importer” and/or a “Distributor”. It does not necessarily provide a guarantee that all products are compliant.

Always look for the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme shield. 

Alan Murray

BSIF chief executive

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