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|PPE Regulations Update||07/09/2018|
Health and Safety Matters (HSM) magazine and the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) held a free webinar on how to comply with the new PPE regulations.
WITH MORE than 1200 registrations for the webinar Complying with the Law - PPE Regulation, it is clear there has been much confusion about the latest PPE changes. These were put to rest on the 2 July with a free webinar featuring an expert panel comprising Alan Murray and Frank Angear from the BSIF. It was hosted by HSM/FSM managing editor Mark Sennett and allowed time for the audience to engage with questions at the end of the session. The webinar, including slides, is available on demand.
The session focused on the recent changes to the PPE Regulation EU 2016/425 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 explained what these are and how those affected by the changes can gain a clear understanding of their new responsibilities to ensure they remain compliant.
BSIF general manager Frank Angear presented first and introduced the BSIF, which is the UK's leading trade body within the safety industry. BSIF's aim is to provide support and guidance on a wide range of occupational safety issues and embers include manufacturers, distributors, test houses, certification bodies, safety professionals and service providers.
Angear said, “We believe very strongly that those that buy, specify and use safety and health products deserve to have the best products available and deserve for those products to be supplied by a knowledgable and capable chain of supply.”
The change has seen a move from the PPE Directive, which came into force in 1989, to the PPE Regulation. While it has been in revision for sometime, Angear points out that it was “finally adopted by European Parliament in February 2016.”
It came into force from 21 April 2016 and became applicable from the 21 April 2018. However, it is still possible to use the Directive for a further 12 months from the new Regulation coming into effect. Online selling is also subject to this Regulation, and products coming from outside the EU need to demonstrate compliance.
Angear said, “It is possible to put products on the market CE marked under the old Directive until April 2019. Products that have a current EC type examination certificate can continue to be marketed while that certificate is valid, so there is a smooth transition in place.
“Over the course of the next five years you will be able to buy products that carry a directive certificate, if it is valid. By April 2019, products have to comply with the regulation. So we are in a position where both types of certificate can be issued.”
So, what are the changes between the Directive and the new Regulation?
Angear added, “What you really need to get your head around is the fact that this change from the Directive to the Regulation has very little to do with any changes in requirement or performance of the product. It will not change in any way the way you select products to protect yourself or your workers or the way they work.
“The change is all about bringing it in line legally with modern regulations. You do not need to be rushing out to look for products for the new regulations immediately as the products are not changing, but the process that brings them to market.
“There will be very little change to how products work and perform in order to protect you at work. There are no technical changes, so the whole process is a legal process to make sure the assessment procedures are up to date and legally current and will not change the way products work and protect you.”
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.
PPE covered by the Directive is divided into three categories:
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. 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.
Angear commented: “Now they are divided in the risk they are designed to prevent. For example, in complex design products you don't talk about hearing production, you talk about harmful levels of noise, you don't talk about buoyancy aids, you talk about risk of drowning.”
A new term has been introduced into the Directive and that is 'Economic Operators', which includes manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors. They all have new obligations under the new directive, mainly in record keeping and verification, and they go up and down the supply chain.
BSIF CEO Alan Murray said, “It should be noted that importers and distributors that market PPE under their own brand, assume all the obligations of the manufacturer.”
The new Regulation 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. Economic operators must keep the technical documentation and the DoC for 10 years after the PPE has been placed on the market. Importers will be required to meet the following obligations:
Murray looked further down the supply chain and highlighted the obligations on the distributors. These must act with due care; 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; not make PPE available in the market if the PPE is considered not to meet the essential health and safety requirements; ensure transport and storage does not jeopardise the PPE's conformity; and take corrective actions in case PPE is considered to be non-compliant and inform the competent authorities in case PPE presents a risk
All certificates were given a five-year validity from 21 April 2018, so by 21 April 2023 all certificates will require renewal. By the 21 April 2023 all products will be certified to the latest version of that standard.
Murray added, “It might sound like some tough tasks for the economic operators, but it is right and proper. The BSIF has taken steps to support the market place so they can demonstrate how they are compliant and ensure that the end user is able to source safety products from knowledgable suppliers.
“Anyone can sell safety, but we know that users should not be buying safety from anyone. Users need assurance that the markings, documentation and claims for performance are all genuine. Users need to be able to trust their PPE and deserve to be supplied capable and responsible business.
“We tackle non-compliant and poorly performing products, which I can tell you there are many in the marketplace at the moment.
“All BSIF members involved in the supply of PPE and related equipment are members of the scheme. We have created a registered safety supplier scheme supporters community where users can register their commitment where they ensure they will only seek supply from registered safety supplier scheme members at www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk.”
The webinar is available on demand, visit http://events.streamgo.co.uk/Complying-with-the-law
Following the webinar, Alan Murray and Frank Angear answered some of your questions. You can hear all the questions by watching the webinar on demand. Below is a selection of some of the questions asked.
For what period of time after 21 April 2019, will we still be able to place on the market products under the current directive?
FA: Until April 2023 you can continue to use a current EC certificate as long as it is valid and as long as it has not got an expiry date before April 2023. But it is only for the certificate. The product in all other respects has to meet requirements of the regulation by the 21 April 2019. By that date it will need to have a new declaration of conformity.
The regulation does give a template for declarations of conformity. And that can be based on a current EC certificate, but the EC certificate is the only bit that can last over until 2023 in all other respects the product has to comply.
As the new PTE regulation is an EU regulation, do you see there being any change to this once the UK leaves the EU market?
AM: We believe the government is working to achieve mutual recognition agreement for certain regulations. We know what is contained within the withdrawal bill and we know there is a transition period negotiated until December 2020. We believe the negotiations are driving along the lines of beyond that.
That's our belief and that's our hope, because on the one hand I do not see the UK benefitting in anyway from reinventing CE Marking in a different guise. I believe that if we don't have CE Marking and all the products that are produced overseas and brought into the UK, the UK runs the risk of being a potential dumping ground for products in Europe. It's becoming a very current debate, but we believe there will be a mutual recognition agreement.
Regarding the new technical change, in the new harmonising standard list there is a lot of existing standards that have been removed, especially regarding electrical safety and flame-resistant clothing. Why has this happened?
FA: What is being referred to there is something called the official journal. In that journal published a couple of times a year is a list of standards that are referred to as harmonised, which means that if you certify a product to that standard, you will also be awarded a CE Mark. There was a number of EN Standards that did not make the move from the last Official Journal published that listed standards under Directive into the new Official Journal that lists products harmonised for the regulation.
Something like 33 did not make the list, but those are all standards that the commission, having looked through the annexes at the back of the standard, that needed some adjustment. They are in the process of making those adjustments and the plan is that by April 2019 when products have to comply to the regulation, will have made it by then.
How do ensure that forgeries from China or India are prevented from access to the EU?
AM: You have to prove they are forgeries first. Our registered safety supplier scheme, and our whole mission in the marketplace, is to remove these types of products. I would say, have communication with us, and we will follow it through. Within our registered safety supplier scheme we have a testing protocol, and we have certainly removed several within the last few months.”
What sort of penalties many be imposed for any breaches of the regulations?
AM: We have two examples of non-compliant products in the last few years. One was a hard hat where the retailer, a builder's merchant, had sold non-compliant hard hats. They were fined something in the region of £14,000 by Trading Standards.
We had another high street retailer was fined nearly £70,000 for non-compliant high-visibility clothing, in the main it was vests. The difference in the scale of those fines was that the hi vis vests issue was fined and compensation was sought under proceeds of crime. So the authority decided that somebody has sold a certain amount of hi vis vests and reclaimed the profit they had made on it.”
Are the slides that accompany the webinar available?
The entire presentation, including the slides, is available on-demand for you to listen to at your convenience. You will also find answers to more questions at the end of the presentation.
To listen to the webinar in full, including many more questions and answers, visit http://events.streamgo.co.uk/Complying-with-the-law
|BSIF news analysis July 2018||07/08/2018|
IN JULY, the HSE published its provisional annual statistics on UK work related fatal injuries in 2017-2018 and for the number of people known to have died from Mesothelioma during 2016.
The statistics tell us that 144 workers died between April 2017 and March 2018 which is an increase of nine deaths from the previous year. Falling from height remains a most stubborn problem with unsafe “behaviours and approach to risk” being a constant challenge to resolve and improve. Working at height and the risks have been the focus for a number of initiatives in industry with major construction client Landsec demonstrating an outstanding approach in cascading their safety culture through their major client base to drive improvement across the industry. These approaches are to be commended and they reflect the opportunity that influential companies can have to improve safety of the workforce within and beyond their immediate supply chain.
The problems involved in resolving falls from height have seen a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) formed to drill down into the causes and potential solutions. This APPG is currently in the consultation phase and BSIF has actively contributed. On the face of it, it would appear that once again the behaviours of individuals, especially in the SME category, needs addressing.
By contrast to the 144 workers killed in 2017/18 through a work related fatal accident 2,595 workers lost their lives through contracting asbestos related Mesothelioma. This is the highest incidence in the world!
Unfortunately, BSIF has found many examples recently of non -compliant and even dangerous RPE in the UK, which will not protect the individuals adequately. We have also found that face fitting, despite being a legal requirement is not being adopted anything like as widely as it needs to be. In a recent survey across construction workers more than 60% had not been fitted for the RPE that they wore.
There needs to be more market surveillance generally on RPE and face fitting. While Mesothelioma may be seen as a legacy issue there are many respiratory hazards around today that require to be controlled. Our authorities such as the HSE needs the appropriate resources to police the market for inadequate products and inappropriate behaviours otherwise deaths from hazards such as Silica could become the Mesothelioma of tomorrow.
|From the CEO’s desk||02/08/2018|
The summer months of 2018 have seen the hottest temperatures on record and mercury rising over the UK’s Brexit issues. Alan Murray looks at the impact on the health and safety industry
DURING A hot Friday at Chequers at the beginning of July the UK Cabinet appeared to agree the UK’s Brexit position and by and large it reflected the BSIF’s position on collaborative working under a constructive arrangement of mutuality on regulation as it affected goods and products.
However, within just a few days we saw the united cabinet position begin to change with the resignation of David Davis as the Brexit secretary followed by the departure of the foreign secretary. As we moved through July we saw the atmosphere changing towards a no deal Brexit “by accident” being threatened and the prime minister, seeking meetings with the heads of state to garner support for the principles of her proposal.
Where all this will end is obviously the great unknown and its impacts and consequences are hugely significant in our industry and beyond. BSIF has since the referendum lobbied tirelessly with the authorities to ensure the needs of the safety and health industry were accommodated in the Brexit negotiations.
The safety industry and all the product regulations are driven from European Regulation and Directives, the producers of PPE have built their businesses on them and the users by and large understand the standards. Despite a lack of product market surveillance by the authorities the regulations do provide a basis for product performance.
If the UK comes out of the EU without formal mutual recognition of PPE under the current arrangements the entire protocol for the design manufacture and marketing of this crucial range of products will have to be re-invented. This in our opinion will lead to great disruption and the potential for massive disruption in the supply of PPE to the UK.
Few if any manufacturers make PPE only for UK consumption at best if the current CE marking protocols cease to be recognised in the UK PPE will have to be additionally marked under some yet to be determined applicable UK quality regime which will add significant cost.
Already we have seen authorities in the EU undermining the future role of UK notified bodies and accredited test houses and their status under PPE Regulations going forward. Many of these notified bodies provide certification services to non UK based manufacturers and they have already begun to take steps to relocate their businesses to retain their notified body status. This represents a drain of jobs and expertise from the UK and the UK safety industry.
The efforts of BSIF representing the UK and supporting those businesses which help to keep people safe have been focused on maintaining the structures that have served the Industry and the users of PPE well for the past 30 years and we will continue to work to the end of achieving mutual recognition.
Much of the focus of EU law and UK law as it affects the safety and health industry has been centred on general legislation as opposed to PPE which falls under the umbrella of “Goods” and that can lead to the potential of misunderstanding and confusion. When Article 50 was enacted the UK government pledged to ensure that health and safety legislation per se was adopted into UK law meaning that all existing conditions would be preserved. To this end on 24 July The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 were enacted by way of Statutory Instrument. This is positive for the continuation of good safety and health in the UK ensuring that EU derived protections will continue to be available in domestic law after the UK has left the EU.
We now need to see progress with PPE!
Alan Murray is chief executive officer of the British Safety Industry Federation. For more information, visit www.bsif.co.uk
|In The Spotlight with Phil Bradley||18/06/2018|
This month we put BSIF member Phil Bradley in the spotlight to share his thoughts on PPE and worker safety.
How did you get into the health and safety industry?
Our parent company, Ideal Industries Inc, has learnt valuable lessons and business techniques in its 100-year history of family ownership and so we improved our business model, applying focus on selected markets and product. We focused on our core occupational health and safety product solutions, ensuring we understood the needs of our customers and value proposition.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
If you were a film character who would you be and why?
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the health and safety industry in the UK?
In your opinion, how can these challenges be overcome?
How do we attract more talented young people to the health and safety industry?
If you could be a fly on the wall at any historical event what would it be?
What do you think the medium-term future holds for the health and safety industry globally?
What health and safety issues are you most passionate about?
Phil Bradley is general manager at Casella. For more information, visit www.casellasolutions.com
|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.”
|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:
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.
BSIF chief executive
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.
|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.
|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.
|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.”