Home >Suppliers >British Safety Industry Federation
British Safety Industry Federation

1/35     (1 to 10 of 341)

From the CEO's desk - October 19 15/10/2019

Alan Murray gives an overview of the recent European Safety Federation's open workshop on the implementation of the PPE Regulation.

WHILE PENNING this article the talks go on between the UK and the EU in an attempt to uncover a way forward which will avoid the UK leaving the EU without a deal. BSIF have written extensively on the potential consequences of a no deal and what that may mean for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) industry, let us hope that by the time you are reading this the issue has been decided and we have a better understanding of our ongoing relationship.

As we all know the PPE industry has operated for many years under EU directives and regulations. The latest major change being PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 which has been in operation since April 2018. Regardless of Brexit this regulation heralded changes which the market has adjusted to over the last few years. On October the 2nd the European Safety Federation (of which I through the BSIF am President) held an open workshop on the implementation of the regulation. 
The workshop was attended by over 60 stakeholders from the industry and heard a presentation from the EU Commission Officer responsible, covering the current state of play with the implementation of the regulation.

The agenda of the workshop enabled 3 distinct workshop groups to break out and share experiences and concerns covering the important topics of 1. Market Surveillance 2. Notified Bodies and 3. Product Standards. All of these breakout groups had the opportunity to have concerns debated and have them directly addressed by the Commission. Following the individual workshops there was a panel session where the audience was able to air questions to experts.

Given that in the event of a Brexit deal we will continue to use the Regulation and even in the event of a “no deal” the UK conformity assessment process will mirror the existing EU regulation I think it is useful for you to share in what was discussed in the workshop.

On Market Surveillance – The experience across the EU markets is broadly similar to the experience in the UK. That is, that the authorities are under - resourced and do not prioritise PPE. It is all relative of course and hearing from the Belgium authorities I can tell you that they have an proactive annual plan for PPE inspection, but that is the exception. The regulation and the legal frameworks delegate the responsibility for market surveillance to national authorities in each member state. This by its nature means that there will be differences. What is clearly consistent is that whatever each member state is doing is seen as inadequate, to prevent sub standard and non compliant product from entering the market. The Commission accepted the situation is not good enough but reassured the audience that the new EU Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products will go some way to addressing this. Within market surveillance there are always technical, legal and political elements to consider, however the new regulation (EU) 2019/1020 will provide financial resource and a new network to address issues with energy and dynamism. We shall see!

On Standards – The workshop recognised that there were strengths and weaknesses in the current situation. Strengths cited were that harmonised standards did provide a statement on “state of the art” , they provide a useful means to compare PPE performance and are a useful tool in enabling end user selection. Weaknesses agreed, were that uncertainty of test measurements were unclear and a source of confusion and further that some member states require PPE to be to the latest standard when placed on the market. It was agreed by all that improvements can be realised by simplifying the revision process and only allowing changes to test methods if they closer reflect “real life use” as opposed to laboratory tests. It was universally agreed that we must move away or find a solution to non value adding requirements such as the need for hard copy instructions for use. All agreed that the production of instructions for use and the need for them to accompany each item of PPE was expensive, wasteful and unnecessary. The Commission acknowledged the points raised.

On Notified Bodies – The workshops raised concerns that within the C2 and D modules for quality assurance there is a need to make sure this is being carried out consistently – it is not currently, which can lead to problems. In the implementation of the Regulation there was concern expressed at the delay in providing product certification. The concern over the view that sub contracting of testing by Notified Bodies should not be allowed (except in certain circumstances) was also raised as this would fracture the existing model and lead to significant delays. Once again the problem of different test results from different test labs was raised and is was noted that while there are round - robin processes to establish commonality the results of these are never shared.

The workshop was a great success enabling the Commission to hear at first hand the concerns of the market and it was clear that inconsistencies in the areas covered have the potential to undermine the effectiveness of the Regulation and the industry.

Alan Murray is chief executive of BSIF. For more information, visit www.bsif.co.uk

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

A focus on fit testing 13/06/2019

WHEN SPECIFYING Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) which includes Respiratory Protective Devices (RPD) it is important to consider the role of Fit2Fit and the needs of the user in addition to the performance characteristics of the RPE.

The importance of protecting workers from hazardous dust and fumes is not a new topic of debate. For some 2,000 years, the potential dangers have been recognised.

Fast forward to the present day and the issue remains a hot topic for debate and a key area of international safety legislation. So much so that 2018 has seen the introduction of the ISO 16975-3:2017 – a new standard specifically designed to provide guidance on how to conduct a fit testing of tight-fitting Respiratory Protective Devices (RPS)

Designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the seal between the wearer’s face and the respiratory interface specific requirements for conducting RPD fit testing outlined in the new standard include:

- Qualifications/competencies of fit test operators

- Specific fit testing procedures

- Interpretation of fit test results

- Record Keeping

We need to drive mindsets away from pure respirator performance to the relationship between respirator and each individual user. In the past a lot of disposable respirators were introduced to the market to purely meet the EN 149:2001+A1:2009 standard, without necessarily considering the individuality of the user, how it fitted them and how it was used.

If someone fits a particular disposable FFP3 mask – that would then apply to any FFP3 mask product – These are assumptions that are being made – WRONG! It is important to reinforce the message that if a respirator model is changed then the wearer needs to undergo a new fit test.

Where a tight-fitting face mask is required, a fit test on that mask and the person wearing it needs to be carried out. This is a legal requirement detailed in the CoSHH regulations.

Some people still don’t understand whether fit testing is a requirement for them or don’t know enough about it to make an effective judgement. Fit testing is also seen by some as time consuming, expensive or not applicable to them e.g.: ‘I only wear a mask once a week, so its OTT and not needed’.

Regardless of how often a mask is used – if its being used as an item of PPE it needs proper fit testing. Its also recommendable that regular fit testing is undertaken – ideally at least once every two years.

Recent research indicates that up to 50% of all RPE used does not offer the wearer the level of protection assumed and one of the major reasons is that it simply does not fit! Yet, under the regulations RPE must be correctly selected and this includes, for many types of RPE, a face piece Fit Test conducted by a competent person. So how can you be sure the person conducting the fit test is competent?

Despite not being qualified to do so, some people think they are competent enough to fit test. RPE fit testing should be conducted by a competent person, anyone carrying out the fit test must be appropriately trained, qualified and experienced.

In view of these major concerns the British Safety Industry Federation, along with the HSE and other industry stakeholders have developed a competency scheme for Fit Test Providers. The Fit2Fit RPE Fit Test Providers Accreditation Scheme is designed to confirm the competency of any person performing face piece fit testing.

What makes a Fit2Fit accredited tester competent? They have passed an industry recognised exam and therefore demonstrated they have a thorough knowledge of the HSE guidance on fit testing and can demonstrate they have the know how to fit test in practical circumstances.

If you or your employees require a fit test, then by using a Fit2Fit accredited tester you will be doing enough to demonstrate best practice and making sure the user of RPE is properly protected and has an effective seal on their mask.

A list of accredited, competent fit testers can be found by going to www.fit2fit.org and clicking on the ‘Find a tester’ tab. Why take the risk of using a non-accredited tester when it’s so easy to source a fit test from a competent Fit2Fit tester?

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

Federation welcomes new member 13/06/2019

BSIF WELCOMES Buckler Boots and Buckbootz to the Federation who are products of BMF Supplier member Buckler Boots Ltd , the independent UK safety footwear company which has been at the forefront of European groundbreaking product developments for the past twenty years.

These include :

Hard As Nails , the UK’s first ever full range of safety footwear fitted with anti – penetration midsoles.

Buckbootz , Europe’s first EN S5 standard neoprene / rubber safety wellington .

Hybridz , EN S3 standard safety boot which combines lace and dealer boot convenience .

Buckz Viz , the new design protected range of EN S3 high visibility / reflective safety boot styles.

Sling those Hooks , the company’s long running campaign to have speed hooks banned from safety footwear specifications .

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

Health & Safety North 13/06/2019

THE BSIF will be at Eventcity, Manchester for Health & Safety North on the 8-9 October 2019.

Established in 2007, Health & Safety North is where health & safety practitioners and communities from across the North of England come together to learn, network and procure. The industry's most respected voices come together to share fresh perspectives and educational CPD-accredited content across three free to attend theatres, including The British Safety Industry Federation.


Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

BSIF will be at RWM 13/06/2019

RWM TAKES place at the NEC on the 11-12 September and is the UK’s leading trade show for recycling and waste management, providing the biggest platform for the latest innovations shaping the sustainability sector.

Since changing owners at the start of 2018, RWM has grown to attract over 12,000 visitors, including the industry’s most influential names and organisations. With professionals from across the sector and beyond in attendance, there are unrivalled opportunities for collaborations, networking and meeting people actively seeking new business opportunities.

Both days boast exemplary seminar schedules delivering expert advice, live demos of pioneering new technology as well as hundreds of market leading companies coming equipped with their finest solution led products and services.

RWM, in partnership with CIWM, is the only UK event of this scale and brings the entire industry together in one location. To put it into figures: 500 exhibitors, 350 seminars and 50 free-to-attend theatres across the exhibits. It is not to be missed


Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

New director joins BSIF board 13/06/2019

BSIF ARE delighted to announce that Paul Bryce of Ansell has joined the Board of BSIF.

Paul has spent over 20 years in the Personal Protective Equipment Industry in a variety of roles from sales and marketing to product management, Quality & Regulatory Affairs. He started his career at Arco East Scotland (Linlithgow) in 1996 and subsequently moved to their head office in Hull, prior to a move into chemical protective clothing manufacturing with Microgard Ltd in 2006. He joined Ansell Ltd in April 2015 following their acquisition of Microgard, having been a member of the Microgard Senior Management Team. Having served in a number of senior leadership roles at Microgard, Paul was appointed Senior Director and Head of R&D, Global Marketing & Product Management for Ansell’s Body Protection business.

In July 2017, Paul was promoted to Vice President & General Manager of Ansell’s Chemical Solutions Strategic Business Unit and subsequently joined their Executive Leadership Team. In this role, he has global responsibility for strategy and the commercial development of a broad range of multi-hazard chemical protection solutions under the AlphaTec® core brand. Paul is located at Ansell’s regional office and R&D Centre in Hull, UK.

BSIF look forward to Paul’s input and specialist skills as the Federation continues our mission to support the membership who help to keep the UK safe and healthy while they are at work.

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

From the CEO's desk - June 2019 14/05/2019

Companies that have chosen to use Respiratory Protective Equipment need to ensure it is fit tested on the wearer's face. Here, Alan Murray looks at the growth of the Fit2Fit scheme, and how you can comply with the law.

IN THE UK if an employer has chosen to use Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) as part of their “controls” it is the law that it must be fit tested on the wearer’s face so that it can provide the protection necessary to protect the individual from hazards. The law states that, not only should the RPE be fit tested but that it should be carried out by a competent person.

In the UK around 12,000 people die every year of a respiratory disease caused by breathing in a hazardous substance at work. Many thousands more suffer serious illnesses, affecting almost every aspect of their lives and ruining their later years. RPE competently face fit tested will help to ensure that the wearer is protected avoiding unnecessary impacts on their health.

The Fit2Fit Scheme administered by the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and supported actively by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over 350 accredited competent face fitters in the UK and the scheme has a very clear mission…

“To improve and ensure the quality of the Fit Testing Equipment (RPE), contributing to significant reductions in the incidence of occupational respiratory disease”.

The Fit2Fit Accreditation Scheme has for some years been premised on two key HSE publications HSG 53 – Respiratory Protective Equipment at Work: A Practical Guide and OC 282/28 the specific guidance on the “What and the How” of face fitting.

The HSE took the view that it must retain the responsibility for whatmust be done in face fitting it decided that the Fit2Fit Scheme was best placed to take the role of informing industry how this should be carried out.

In April 2019, to support this change HSE launched new industry guidance INDG 479 – Guidance on respiratory protective equipment (RPE) fit testing replacing OC282/28.

In parallel, at an event attended by over 100 face fitters at the Health and Safety Event on April 10, Fit to Fit launched their Companions to INDG 479.

Fit2Fit created 3 detailed Companions based on INDG 479, but broken down into method specific publications covering.

  1. The Qualitative Method – based on Taste

  2. Quantitative Method – based on Ambient Particle Counting (APC)

  3. Quantitative Method – based on Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP)

The Companions took HSE guidance word for word and added Fit2Fit Guidance at the appropriate sections providing the necessary information to ensure effective life preserving face fitting can be carried out.

The Companions can be downloaded, along with other helpful face fitting resources, from www.fit2fit.org

The Companions cover fit test methods – fit factors – method selection and fit test reports and more guidance on facial hair, a problem that does not yet seem to be under control by duty holders.

The Companions are not a training course and competent training and mentored practise are absolutely essential to competency. Within the Fit2Fit Accreditation Scheme there is still a 30% failure rate on competency assessment. End users and employers should always seek a Fit2Fit Accredited provider for their face fitting requirements.

Face fitting of RPE is a legal requirement in the UK and other advanced nations and recommended best practice in others Fit2Fit is the recognised Competency Scheme for providers.

Reflecting the leading role that the UK has in Safety and Health agreement has been reached establishing Fit2Fit in Belgium and Luxembourg and advanced talks are currently underway for Fit2Fit to be run under licence in the 4 Scandinavian countries, with discussions also taking place for Australia.

Competent face fitting is vital for tight fitting RPE to be effective and ensure that the equipment can provide the protection that the wearer requires. Fit2Fit, embedding the scheme internationally, are playing an essential role in ensuring worker safety well beyond the UK.

Alan Murray is chief executive of BSIF. For more information, visit www.bsif.co.uk 

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

BSIF New Member 27/03/2019

BSIF WELCOMES Dimensions as the latest member of the federation.

Dimensions will also participate in the BSIF’s Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS) which demonstrates their ongoing commitment to ethical trading and illustrates their credibility, trustworthiness and expertise in safety supply. 

From small beginnings in 1988, over the last 30 years Dimensions has grown into an international company and is one of the largest providers of corporate clothing solutions, delivering bespoke uniforms to thousands of wearers across multiple industry sectors around the world. 

By becoming part of the BSIF and displaying the RSSS logo will demonstrate to PPE users that Dimensions is a reliable supplier.

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

BSIF Award finalists 2019 27/03/2019

BSIF ARE delighted to announce the finalists for this year's awards.

BSIF Customer Service Award Finalists 2019

The Customer Service award is for companies in the safety field offering exceptional and innovative service solutions and Voted for by the entrants’ own customers.

In no particular order the finalist companies are:



Essential Skillz

Effective Software

SHE Software




Spartan Safety


Congratulations to all 10 who have made the finalists in what was a hotly contested category this year.

The winners will be announced as part of the Safety & Health Excellence Awards (SHE Awards) taking place on Wednesday 10th April at The Vox, Birmingham. For tickets please contact BSIF on 01442 248744.

BSIF Product Innovation Award Finalists 2019

In no particular order the products are:

Kite Projects—All terrain safety step platform

Cortexica Vision Systems —AI Safe, Real time continuous monitorign

asecos—ION-LINE – Model IO90.195.120.K3.WDC_BATTERY CHARGE

Ash Safety— Gridlock Manhole protection system


Uniglove—Fortified Blue Nitrile Gloves

Blackline Safety—G7 Push to talk

Centurion — Contour XIII Clear-Grey Arc Class 2 Screen

3M— Aura™ Particulate Respirator 9300+Gen3



Hunter Apparel—The Firehunter® Particulate Blocking Hood (FhPBH)

Congratulations to all 12 who have made the finalists list in what was a hotly contested category this year.

The winners will be announced as part of the Safety & Health Excellence Awards (SHE Awards) taking place on Wednesday 10th April at The Vox, Birmingham. For tickets please contact BSIF on 01442 248744.

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

BSIF events 2019 27/03/2019

THE BSIF has a presence at the following events.

The BSIF Awards at The Safety & Health Excellence Awards

Location: The Vox, Birmingham

Date: Wednesday 10th April 2019

The night attracts more than 400 guests from the safety, health, fire and security sectors and includes a sumptuous three course meal, table wine, drinks reception, live music and live entertainment.

This unmissable networking event, brought to you by the organisers of The Health & Safety Event, The Fire Safety Event and the brand new The Security Event.

If you are interested in entering into the BSIF Awards please download the brochure here:


The Health & Safety Event

Location: NEC, Birmingham

Date: 9th – 11th April 2019


The Health and Safety Event has been developed to suit anyone responsible for health and safety at work. Uniquely co-located with The Fire Safety Event, The Security Event and The Facilities Event, The Health & Safety Event is the perfect education and networking opportunity for anyone responsible for running a safe and efficient workplace, anywhere in the UK.

Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.