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CEO's desk 07/12/2022

Alan Murray provides an update to the latest changes to the UKCA rules.

IT IS a privilege to have the opportunity to write this column in HSM, one that I greatly value. I’m sure you can imagine that when I sit down to put it together my first thoughts are, what information needs to be communicated, what is current and important! It is then a valuable discipline to check back to ensure that I haven’t covered the topic in previous columns.

Well, information that needs to be communicated is most certainly the change to the rules on UKCA marking! Have I communicated on this before yes, indeed I have, many times! The frequency with which changes are announced render the situation chaotic and my sympathies go to all the responsible businesses who have invested to meet the timelines as they had previously been published.

Now, readers will remember that the original guidance required all the changes in PPE to be in force by the end of 2021, but following extensive lobbying this “impossible” deadline was moved out a year until the end of 2022. Our industry worked hard aiming to complete in the due time and more conformity assessment bodies established themselves in the UK to create the required capacity and meet the demand. Quite suddenly in June 2022 the government announced that there would be no further extension to the deadline of December 2022 for UKCA being required but, if a product already had a CE approval then that could be used as the basis for applying the UKCA mark, without any need for manufacturers to use a UK Approved Body. This was something of a seismic shift but, it has to be said, one that would have been common sense if enacted as part of the first announcements in 2020!

With the dust settling on the June ’22 announcements and businesses adjusting to the new conditions, another surprise! On November 14 2022 the government announced that CE approved product (without the need for any UKCA) would still be acceptable for a further 2 years until the end of December 2024. All of these changes, were of course, as ever, described as support for business. Really! Chaos for those involved in the process and confusion for users and indeed for market surveillance authorities. All of these changes genuinely risk the Regulation being significantly undermined, which is in the interests of nobody.

The full Guidance published in November can be accessed and downloaded at from the BSIF websitehttps://www.bsif.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/PPE-Guide-Nov-22.pdf

Of course one mustn’t forget that there is a different, updated, version of the Regulation as it applies in Northern Ireland, see https://www.bsif.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/PPE-Guide-NI-Nov-22.pdf

To quote the old cliché “it is what it is” and all that we can practically do is keep pressing BEIS for clarifications on the Regulation (which are still needed) and keep everyone as up to date as we possibly can, so that the PPE market is informed and wearers kept safe! 

In other news! 

The government announced that all of the EU legislation that the UK retained on our statute books following Brexit, which I note seems a less used word in Whitehall circles these days, with many preferring to use the phrase “post-exit”, will sunset by December 2023. This means that all retained EU law, up to 4,000 pieces of legislation including the PPE Regulation and many pieces of Health Safety and Environment laws, will be reviewed, reformed or removed during the next 12 months. This initiative, the “Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill” came from the then Business Secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg and is now handled by Grant Shapps, Secretary of State at BEIS and the puzzlingly named “Brexit Opportunities Unit”. 
This undertaking is massive and fraught with problems, but I am told that the current Secretary of State thinks a more “sane” timetable should be put in place. We will see, but I can assure you that we, and other interested groups will work to protect good laws and standards where they exist across our sector.

Let’s see what 2023 brings.

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

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Product safety to come under the spotlight in 2023 07/12/2022

IN 2023 we expect to see a greater focus on product safety, including increased scrutiny on the safety and compliance of goods sold by third-party sellers on online marketplaces. BSIF CEO Alan Murray explains more.

The UK has always had a reputation for stringent product safety standards but with constant innovation and the rise of e-commerce many markets have become increasingly hard to regulate. 

PPE is a case in point. The COVID pandemic highlighted how quickly substandard and potentially dangerous products can find their way onto the market with reports suggesting billions of pounds of public money were ultimately wasted on unusable PPE. 

Unfortunately substandard PPE isn’t just a COVID problem. Unacceptable products have been finding their way on to UK marketplaces prior to COVID and continue to do so today. 

This is illustrated by the BSIF’s latest analysis. As well as auditing the BSIF membership annually to verify their compliance and competence, we test a selection of PPE from non-BSIF members. Between December 2021 and December 2022, a total of 118 non-member products were tested. Only 15 (13%) of these products passed the audit, with the results for five of the products still pending. This means 98 products (83%) failed to meet the audit criteria, many of which are still available and being sold to unsuspecting users. 

These findings are in contrast with products supplied by Registered Safety Suppliers who are committed to only selling certified PPE and trading honestly and ethically

What’s changing?

2023 will see the introduction of a new post-EU Product Safety Framework which will help to strengthen the rules around the sale of products including PPE. Timings for publication of the framework are still to be confirmed, but there will be a strong focus on improving the safety and compliance of goods sold by third-party sellers on online marketplaces. We expect to see stricter responsibilities for online vendors and harsher penalties for those who fail to comply.

At the same time, the Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance (ESG) agenda is having a growing impact. Companies looking to strengthen their ESG performance are closely scrutinising the credentials of their suppliers and choosing only to work with responsible companies. When it comes to buying PPE and Safety Equipment, many buyers now realise that specifying the BSIF’s Registered Safety Supplier Scheme is the easiest way to ensure they are only dealing with suppliers who are compliant, competent and trustworthy. 

It’s therefore no surprise that we saw a significant number of public and private sector organisation mandate the Registered Safety supplier Scheme for their supply chains in 2022. As the focus on products safety sharpens in 2023 we expect that number to increase. 

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The BSIF Registered Supplier Scheme 06/12/2022

BSIF CEO Alan Murray explains how the BSIF has been working to raise the profile of the Registered Safety Supplier (RSS) scheme in 2022 and shares what’s on the cards for 2023.

REGULAR READERS of the BSIF Guide will be aware of the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme. RSS is the BSIF’s flagship verification scheme that provides those specifying PPE and safety equipment with reassurance that the products they are buying are from a supplier who takes their responsibilities as a vendor of PPE and safety equipment seriously. 

Why is the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme needed? 

Unfortunately, not all buyers and specifiers of PPE understand that they have a responsibility to ensure the products they buy are properly certified and approved. Even those who are aware of their responsibilities will rarely have the knowledge and resources to validate suppliers’ claims. Checking for the BSIF Shield, which shows your supplier is a Registered Safety Supplier, is therefore the easiest way to ensure that your vendor complies with the relevant rules.

Companies displaying the BSIF shield are audited annually to ensure they comply with obligations and responsibilities of the legislation and have signed a binding declaration that the PPE and safety equipment they offer meets the correct standards, fully complies with the regulations and is UKCA and or CE certified. This means that by using a Registered Safety Supplier you can be confident you will receive genuine products that are fit for purpose as well as genuine “information, support and guidance”.

Not all PPE and safety products are created equal 

The reality is that not all safety products currently for sale are created equal. For example, the law states that PPE must be correctly tested and certified to comply with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations, but not every supplier of PPE follows the rules. 

A lack of market surveillance and enforcement in the UK means it can be difficult to distinguish responsible suppliers from less responsible ones. This has led to an increase in the quantity of substandard products for sale.

Employers must ensure that they only provide fully compliant PPE for their workforce otherwise they will be contravening safety legislation. A number of items are available that claim UKCA and or CE approvals but, in reality, they have not all been appropriately tested and certified. In our experience these products often do not perform as they should, putting lives at risk and, in doing so, exposing businesses and individuals to prosecution for failing to protect staff.

In the period June 2021 to May 2022, we sourced, assessed and tested 160 products outside of BSIF Members, 144 of which either didn’t pass the testing or did not have compliant markings or supporting documentation. This represents an 89% failure rate.

Of particular concern was the head protection and protective clothing categories where none of the products that were tested were compliant. Meanwhile, out of 36 items of RPE that were tested just four of these products were fully compliant which means 88% of the non-BSIF member RPE products we tested were non-compliant. 

Just a few examples of substandard products we have come across for sale in 2022 include: 

• An ‘indestructible safety trainer’ that failed the midsole penetration test. 

• ‘Cut-resistant gloves’ that didn’t pass the relevant cut test 

• A 'safety harness & lanyard’ provided without any user instructions or documentation

Benefits of specifying a Registered Safety Supplier

Verifying that your supplier is a Registered Safety Supplier gives you reassurance that the necessary checks have been performed and you know your supplier is committed to high standards. Members of the RSS scheme must fulfil the following criteria in order to gain admittance and carry the shield: 

• Sell only certified PPE 

  • Meet all responsibilities of the PPE Regulations 

  • Submit their products for random independent performance testing 

  • Train public facing staff in the BSIF’s Safe Supply Course (a publicly recognised qualification to educate those selling PPE and safety products)

  • Maintain a quality policy

  • Hold necessary authorisation for service provision

  • Have the capability to carry out any necessary product recalls and trade honestly and ethically.

All Registered Safety Suppliers are audited to confirm compliance with the scheme’s requirements. A full list of registered suppliers is available to view at https://www.bsif.co.uk/rsss/        

Who specifies the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme?

The BSIF team has been working hard in recent years to raise the profile of the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme and to encourage businesses and organisations to include the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme within their prequalification criteria. Happily, several public and private sector organisations now insist on only using Registered Safety Suppliers when procuring PPE and safety products. 

While this is pleasing progress, we would like to see even more organisations engage with the scheme. Our vision is for the BSIF Shield to be the first qualification buyers and specifiers look for when sourcing PPE and safety equipment. 

In 2022, the BSIF has been working further to publicise the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme and to promote responsible PPE and safety product procurement via a number of measures:

– The launch of our CHECK-SELECT-PROTECT campaign in October 2022 urging those specifying PPE and safety equipment to always check their vendor is a Registered Safety Supplier (see infographic) 

  • Distribution of an associated press release and magazine articles

  • The launch of our video “What you need to know when buying PPE & Safety Equipment” 

  • The creation of a range of a resources for members and end users including infographics, banners and further video content (include examples) 

  • Member and end user interviews

  • Social Media activity 

Throughout 2023 we will be building on these efforts, continuing our market research and using our findings to expand our range of resources, articles and awareness work. If you are interested in taking part in our market research and sharing your views, as a buyer or seller of PPE and safety equipment, please email georgina@blackthorn-media.co.uk

For more information, visit www.bsif.co.uk

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Working together 06/12/2022

Since the founding of BSIF in the early nineteen-nineties we have, through the Special Interest Groups (SIGs), provided forums for the industry to discuss, debate and share information across all areas of the industry enabling an informed and consistent approach to our market.

THE BSIF SIGs play a crucial role in the cascading of information on products, standards and issues central to the sector and the membership’s efforts to ensure that people are kept safe and healthy while they are at work.

Through the groups we are “uniquely” able to take representation from all across the supply chain with manufacturers, importers, distributors and providers of specialist services all participating. Further the SIGs often have representatives from the regulators, the Health and Safety Executive and Trading Standards as well as the conformity assessment bodies. This provides a comprehensive assembly of those able to affect the development of products and services for the safety and health industry. Through participation in the SIGs, an individual can be nominated through to the BSI PH committees ensuring that they also have the opportunity to influence standards being developed and reviewed. From the PH committees, an individual can also participate in the CEN and ISO international committee structures.

Open to all members SIGs are often the embodiment of the Federation and meet up to three times a year, through a combination of face to face and hybrid remote meetings. Our SIGs are defined by specific areas of interest, be that driven by product type or by area of risk. The current structure is 

  • The Height Safety Group
  • The Respiratory Protection Group
  • The Eye Face, Head and Hearing Group
  • The Measurement and Instrumentation Group
  • The Safety Footwear Group
  • The Spill Containment and Control Group
  • The Protective Glove and Clothing Group
  • The Test and Certification Association

The following is a brief update and overview of the work currently being undertaken by each group. 

The Respiratory Protection Group

This group is a very long standing and active group. During 2022 it has carried some of the overhang challenges of the pandemic. Amongst many other things the influx of ear loop masks, has been a catalyst to look at a review of the relevant standard EN 149. The BSI PH committee takes, and gives, input and feedback through this forum. This SIG continues to contribute to the challenges of RPE being suitable for an increasingly diverse workforce. The difficulties in this area were highlighted during the pandemic where the make-up of the healthcare workforce was very different to the traditional industrial, gender and ethnic picture. The “Respiratory Group” also takes an active interest in the Fit2Fit face fitting competency scheme. The Clean Air Take Care guidance is currently being updated and will be shared widely by BSIF early in 2023. As with many of the groups the participants are expert and dedicated to improving respiratory health for the UK’s workforce.
This SIG provides the perfect medium to work with other stakeholder groups such as the British Occupational Hygiene Society and the International Society for Respiratory Protection.

The Safety Footwear Group

Safety footwear is a very significant category in the PPE market and the SIG benefits from engagement by all of the leading brands. In 2021 a very useful “Jargon Buster” document was provided helping wearers and specifiers navigate the terminology of the market. The diversity challenge is very real in safety footwear and the group are actively looking to engage with the market to widen choice for all. High on the Group’s agenda is the topic of footwear for electrical hazards. Most commonly safety footwear is placed on the market under Category II conditions but an electrical hazard is clearly Category III and should be governed by those rules, including ongoing independent quality assurance by an “Approved or Notified Body”. This is not the typical position currently, but it is the requirement of the PPE Regulation, confirmed by HSE. Watch out for communication on this topic in the coming months as there will undoubtedly be impacts across the market. Apart from taking and providing input into product standards work, these 2 situations are the current priorities for the group.

The Protective Glove and Clothing Group

This group, as can be seen from the name, combines its’ focus across gloves, hand protection and protective clothing and even includes such products as knee protectors. This makes great sense as there is commonality across many of the materials and fabrics used in these products. During 2021 the group published some very informative pieces on laundering and logo-ing of product. 2022 has seen the hard work of the group continue as it stays abreast of the vast range of, ever evolving, product standards. Like other groups the need to create change and provide suitable product in a market to reflect diversity and inclusivity of wearers is front and centre of their activities.

Focus in this area is provided through a sub-group working on the enhanced visibility standard where the provision of adequate protection and a range of (smaller) sizes is in conflict with the standard as it is currently written. The next steps from this sub group will be to provide information and education and a longer term approach to amending the standard.
It is difficult to express the breadth of work undertaken by this SIG in just a few sentences, but suffice to say that in the BSI PH committee structure there are currently 22 sub-committees covering the range of interests and all with the participation of the SIG members.

The Eye Face, Head and Hearing

This SIG is another group focused on a range of hazard and product areas protecting head, eyes and face and hearing, where protective products are often worn in combination. The use of PPE in combination has been the subject of guidance from the SIG under the title “Just because it Fits”, this item will be updated in 2023.

A long standing area of interest for the group is hearing protection for children; another example where the product standards and conformity assessment are at odds with the needs or some wearers. All PPE is required to fit the wearer and in the hearing protection category there is a groundswell for demonstrating product performance through proper fit testing to ensure the product is suitable for the individual and is providing protection. The group would like to see the expansion of fit testing in this area and it will be a topic to consider in the months ahead. 

There have been new standards created in eye and face protection whose affects are currently being considered. In the area of head protection more and more consideration is being given to the dangers of rotational head and brain injuries, a future focus of this group. 

The Height Safety Group
Working at height and height safety is a technical area and in many ways, a science all on its own.. This category and the Special Interest Group deal with specific PPE, but also the range of equipment involved in the provision of effective safety management when working at height. The group has its’ own website and produces very effective free to all literature and companions to working with the applicable standards. Perhaps the specific challenge this group faces is that it must embrace and inform a wide range of parties well beyond those interested in PPE, including equipment installers, building managers, and system designers. This is an area where the SIG is concerned that the industry has much room for improvement and it plans to create a range of educational video presentations across the range of disciplines needed. The presentation once produced will form the agenda and content for an industry wide webinar in 2023. 

The Spill Containment and Control Group

Moving outside of frontline PPE and Safety per se, BSIF also has a Spill Containment SIG which very much reflects the ideals of the Federation and the other SIGs, focussing as it does on skills improvement, market education and product quality. 
Unlike PPE spill containment products do not have a history in the CE system and the British Standards are not used as the common reference point often enough. The standards are ageing and in some cases have been withdrawn. The Spills Group has stepped up and will seek to provide the ongoing expertise to BSI to enable the re-establishment and maintenance of the applicable standards.

Where other SIGs are supported by the HSE, the Environment Agency (EA) is the relevant regulator and recognises the BSIF group and the work it does. It supports the Spills Group Water Pollution Prevention awards and inputs into the publication of the Environmental Safeguarding Advice literature. This group manages the qualification and approval of training courses for “Spill Response” ensuring that quality in this sector is maintained for the benefit of all.

The Test and Certification Association

This group are different to other BSIF Special Interest Groups and are in fact an “association” with their own set of rules. The Test and Certification Association, or T&C for short, provides a forum for all of the UK Approved Bodies who are recognised by the government (BEIS) and authorised to make product approval decisions for PPE. Previously under the EU PPE regime the Commission mandated and funded the Horizontal Group of Notified Bodies, under UKCA no central funding is provided by government. BSIF therefore hosts this group and while “informal” it has become the de facto horizontal group of Approved Bodies for UKCA. The group consists of all of the UK Approved Bodies (in PPE) and it also welcomes as guests the chairs of all of BSIF’S PPE SIGS, who bring a manufacturer and user perspective to the table. 
Also participating in T&C meetings are representatives from BEIS, as well as observers/welcomed guests from the “Regulators” the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Trading Standards (TS). In addition, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), are part of the group. This is a unique collection of experts and stakeholders, bringing together all those with working with the PPE Regulations as they apply in this country. 

Given who sits round the table it would be reasonable to expect that clear and consistent decisions are able to be made and that implementation of the rules should be straightforward. However, the frequency of changes made by the government in the implementation of the PPE Regulation, following our departure from the EU and the lack of ability or willingness from them to clarify essential points in the rules continues to compromise effectiveness. 

We believe this is a fantastic forum and we will continue to work so that the PPE Regulation can be applied correctly and consistently.

For more information, visit www.bsif.co.uk

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BSIF and sustainability 06/12/2022

Reading the excellent PPE Insights published with the September edition of HSM, it is clearly obvious that the PPE manufacturers are focussed on the huge issue of the day, sustainability. Alan Murray provides an insight.

SUSTAINABILITY IS a colossal topic and just about as complex as a subject can get. Nonetheless, it is clearly one that the BSIF and the membership must be across, ensuring that the PPE industry is playing its part and is seen to be discharging responsibilities, effectively and legitimately.

So, recognising the multifaceted nature of the Sustainability topic, we created a dedicated strategic working group which set out to develop the necessary approaches, phases to be gone through and timelines for key deliverables on the journey. The approach has been one which recognised two key elements, namely a BSIF “Position” and “Member Support”. 

The BSIF “Position” over time, seeks to articulate and define what sustainability means for the industry, in the context of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the 17 “Sustainable Goals” defined by the United Nations, the UK Government’s 2050 “Net Zero” commitment and the challenges and opportunities presented by “Circularity” in PPE.

In terms of “Member Support” we will develop a framework to deliver guidance and support which will recognise statutory, voluntary and best practice elements. From the outset we will create a “Code of Conduct” which is undoubtedly required to provide governance over environmental claims for product and services. It is our intention that at all times the member and industry support will remain constructive and progressive, recognising that sustainability is a fast evolving subject which has the potential to put ever increasing pressure on businesses.

The “Position” and the fundamentals of “Member Support” have been established through engagement and actions following an in-depth survey of our member companies. The survey took views and opinion on readiness, expectations of assistance and support and an audit of the environmental demands against which the members were being judged by their customer base.

BSIF’s “Position” is being built upon, what we believe to be, 4 industry relevant pillars, comprising current Environment and Statutory requirements, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the role of PPE Technology and the up and downstream Business Impacts. Under the heading of “Statutory and Environment” we will recognise carbon dioxide emissions, energy and water use, waste, packaging and the opportunity and efforts on recyclability and recovery. Within this Statutory Environmental pillar, all of these headings will of course need further drilling into and defining as we progress.

Within the Corporate Social Responsibility pillar there are many challenges, not least because the supply chains for PPE and PPE components are often inter-continental and the task to maintain transparency and control can be substantial. It is our intention that in this category we include impacts on people, direct and indirect, worker conditions, and social values of supply chain partners. 

The pillars of “Environment” and “Corporate Social Responsibility” will be followed by considerations around the positive changes available through developing PPE Technology and finally drivers for sustainability emanating from sound businesses able to deliver continuous improvement, continuity and well-being of workforces and the opportunity to make a contribution to the wider community.

As I said earlier, sustainability is a wide and complex topic and we are determined that the creation of a cohesive and appropriate “position” will make a meaningful and enlightened contribution for the benefit of all.

The success of the project will of course require on-going targeted support and it makes sense to plan the support broadly within the demands emanating from the “Position” pillars previously outlined. 

Member integrity is central to BSIF and early in 20023 we will launch the Code of Conduct” based on members complying with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Green Claims Guidelines to manage out any “greenwashing” which has the obvious potential of misrepresentation. Abiding by and commitment to the CMA’s Green Claims Code is being embedded into the Federation’s “Rules of Membership”. 

Without doubt “Sustainability” is a multi-layered, complex subject meaning many things to many people. However, through this progressive, strategic initiative and the support that BSIF will provide, the UK market will ultimately have the opportunity to source PPE from suppliers who are not just highly capable and competent in their field, but suppliers who can be seen to be discharging their environmental obligations for the greater good of all.

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The BSIF Safety Awards 2022 winners 05/12/2022

The prestigious BSIF Safety Awards, renowned for recognising excellence within the safety industry, excellence in customer service, product innovation and with the key goal of improving occupational safety and health within the UK were announced as part of the Safety & Health Awards event on 6 April 2022, the event was held at the Vox, NEC and hosted by Hugh Dennis who gave a fantastic comedy sketch prior to the big reveal.

The companies that entered our awards recognise that through their hard work and innovative thinking we can collectively continue to keep people at work safe.

The four categories of the BSIF Awards are Product Innovation, Safety Solution, Service Excellence and Water Pollution Prevention:

Product Innovation: An award for products that are new and innovative and will contribute to improvements in occupational safety & health within the UK.

Safety Solutions: Based upon case studies submitted by members, these awards recognise major improvements in occupational safety as a result of a supplier/customer project created in 2020/2021.

Service Excellence: An award for companies in the safety field offering exceptional and innovative service solutions. Voted for by the entrants’ own customers who respond to questionnaires focusing on their supplier’s service.

Water Pollution Prevention: The award, supported by the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales recognises the efforts made by business to protect the environment and ensure that all water pollution risks are managed in an effective and efficient way.

The BSIF Product Innovation Award was judged using live presentations of the products to the judges enabling them to ask questions to the entrants and gain a full understanding of the product.

The judging panel consists of highly respected and well-known figures from the health & safety arena, with a broad range of professional expertise.

The winners of the four award categories are listed below:

Product Innovation:

Winner - Design Reality - Revolution 200 half-mask respirator – FSM200

Highly Commended - Trolex - The Air XS Silica Monitor

Highly Commended - JSP - Sonis Comms

Commended – Toughbuilt Industries UK - SnapShell Rocker Kneepads: TB-KP-G201

Commended - Ash Safety – APL Tripod

Customer Service Award:

Winner: Harrisons of Hull

Highly Commended: Martor

Highly Commended: Essentialskillz

Commended: Lyreco

Commended: Swift360

Safety Excellence:

Safety Solutions: Based upon case studies submitted by members, these awards recognise major improvements in occupational safety as a result of a supplier/customer project created in 2020/2021.

Winner - Hunter Apparel Solutions

Highly Commended - Cromwell

Commended – Toughbuilt Industries UK

Water Pollution Prevention Award 2022

On Wednesday 14th September 2022 BSIF announced the winners of the Water Pollution Prevention Award 2022. The award ceremony took place during the Contamination & Geotech Exhibition held at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Water Pollution Prevention Award, supported by the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Wales recognises the efforts made by business to protect the environment and ensure that all water pollution risks are managed in an effective and efficient way. The entrants submitted case studies based upon their approaches, the criteria for the award was based around the entrant demonstrating a detailed understanding of their working environment in relation to preventing incidents that could lead to the pollution of the water environment, surface water or ground water.

Each of the award entries were independently judged by the Environment Agency who then decided upon the finalists. BSIF were delighted to announce the winners of the award as:

Fosse Liquitrol – Winner

E3P/Urban Regen – Highly Commended

Binnies UK & Anglian Water Services – Commended

Siltbuster – Commended

BSIF congratulate the winners and thank them for their dedicated work in preventing water pollution within the UK.

The awards are a celebration of Safety & Health and help to demonstrate the importance of the role it plays across all industries in the UK. It’s time to move away from the notion of the ‘Burden of Health & Safety’ to celebrating and truly recognising the vital role we all have in looking after employees whilst they are at work. The UK has one of the best health & safety records in the world, it is something to be proud of and something to be shouted about and that is the purpose of the BSIF Safety Awards.

BSIF Safety Awards 2023

Entries for the BSIF Safety Awards are open until 10 February 2023.

In a change from previous years, and to accommodate the diverse features of entries, the BSIF Product Innovation Award will be split into two separate awards; The BSIF Product Innovation Award for PPE and the BSIF Product Innovation Award for Safety Products (non PPE).

All products will be considered based upon their entry submissions, the finalists will then go forward to judging day where the manufacturers will have the opportunity to present their entry to the panel of judges. The presentations will take place at a judging day during March.

The finalists will then be scored by the panel of judges and the winner announced, along with the Safety Solution and Customer Service award winners, at The Safety & Health Excellence Awards at the Vox, Birmingham on Wednesday 26th April 2023.

The award brochure can be downloaded from the BSIF website www.bsif.co.uk.

The four categories are:

Product Innovation PPE:

An award for products that are new and innovative and will contribute to improvements in occupational safety & health.

Product Innovation Safety Products (Non PPE):

An award for products that are new and innovative and will contribute to improvements in occupational safety & health.

Service Awards:

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

Safety Solution:

Based upon case studies submitted by members, these awards recognise

major improvements in occupational safety created in 2021/2022.

For more information and to download the entry forms please visit www.bsif.co.uk

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Welcome to the 2023 Guide to the British Safety Industry 01/12/2022

I would like to welcome you all to the 2023 Guide to British Safety Industry. The purpose of this Guide is to provide you with an overview of the safety and health industry in the UK and equip you with a useful reference tool on the range of products available. The Guide is also a source of sensible and proportionate advice on implementing safety, health and environmental policies, ensuring that the UK is kept safe & healthy while at work.

AS WE enter 2023 I am delighted tell you that the British Safety Industry Federation has a larger membership than ever, now with approximately 370 member companies, the vast majority of which are Registered Safety Suppliers providing quality and trust in this vital market. In addition the BSIF, through the Fit2Fit competency scheme counts 500 qualified Face Fit providers, creating a formidable community of dedicated individuals keeping the workforce of the UK Safe and Healthy.

Throughout the “Guide”, you will find informative articles created by Federation members and industry experts dealing with solutions to the range of hazards that are continuously faced in the workplace. We set out to offer clear and concise material to steer you through the selection of safety and personal protection as well as monitoring and control equipment. We believe that it delivers, in one place, valuable information and access to the country’s leading manufacturers and distributors of equipment who are able to offer you not just product but guidance and support to make sure that the latest and most suitable products are available to you.

Since the Guide of 2020 (created at the end of 2019) our industry, like much of society, has encountered seismic shocks created by the exiting of the EU and the Covid chaos in PPE. 

The PPE crisis of 2020 has been written about a great deal and we must ensure that lessons have been learned and mistakes not repeated, although lessons appear often to become un-learned over time as society deals with the priority issues at any given moment. The Covid-19 public enquiry has gotten underway and I’m certain that the PPE situation will be dealt with in both Module 1 and Module 2 of the Inquiry to some degree. Module 1 is looking at pandemic preparedness, with module 2 covering the use of ‘Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions’ across the UK. There are obviously many questions to answer and we hope that beyond the “blame game” practical solutions come forward and that, in the case of PPE, we are never again faced with a situation where non-compliant and often unsafe products were being marketed to unsuspecting and often ill-informed users. 

During the early months of 2022 BSIF published a review following the PPE crisis under the title “Pandemic Reflections” and in it we called for 5 simple steps to be undertaken to make the user safer and the market fairer. The review can be downloaded at https://www.bsif.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Pandemic-response-article.pdf and I’m pleased to say that some of those “calls” have been listened to and we have seen prosecutions under PPE regulations and the authorities recognising the difficulties in the definition of “unsafe products” which would require intervention. In a normal investigation on product safety a full risk assessment including product testing is most often required before Trading Standards will take action. Under the latest system, known as “PRISM” any Category III PPE which is shown to be non-compliant will immediately be judged as high risk, with consequent action taken. This may seem like modest progress but it is a positive change. 

The PRISM model has come out of the need to ensure that the UK, following our exit from the EU, has the correct approach to product safety regulation. A deeper review of Regulation has seen consultation on the wider product safety framework and we are still waiting, long promised, for the recommendations to be published. The product safety review and the subsequent recommendations are meant to address the challenges of on-line sales and the responsibilities of portals and economic operators selling product, including PPE, which is not compliant with the Regulation. These problems must be dealt with and we await the recommendations with eager anticipation.

So turning to the other significant shock which was the “post Brexit” introduction of the United Kingdom Conformity Assessment process or UKCA to replace the 30-odd year established CE regime. As we referred to earlier, in 2020 there were a multitude of easements and amendments to the PPE Regulation, published, in an attempt to enable more covid related PPE to be placed on the UK market. These ceased in the September of that year and the authorities immediately produced their first guidance on complying with UKCA and the PPE Regulation 2016/425 as it applied in both Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland.

So according to the guidance of September 2020 CE Approved products could no longer be placed on the GB market following the end December 2021. This was the deadline for CE. Different rules apply for Northern Ireland which currently remains challenged by the difficulties around the Northern Ireland Protocol. Working with this guidance the industry moved assertively to ensure that it could comply however, it became apparent to the government that such a short transition time was entirely impractical. Consequently and following lobbying in late summer 2021 the transition period (standstill) was extended until the end of 2022. 

Once again the responsible businesses in PPE worked tirelessly to ensure that they would be ready for the change. We also saw a significant increase in the number of EU Notified Bodies investing and establishing themselves in the UK in order be able to provide UKCA approval and to support the necessary increase in testing and certification capacity.

So original guidance in September 2020 forced action to have UKCA approval by the end of December 2021 only to have, in 2021 this guidance changed, and the period extended by a further year. Seen as a sensible move, approvals continued against UKCA requirements. However, somewhat suddenly, in June 2022 new guidance was produced to enable UKCA approvals to be made simply against already having valid CE approvals. This was a seismic change, welcomed in some quarters and greeted with horror in others.

The saga was however, not yet over! On November 14th 2022 yet another announcement emerged whereby approval under UKCA was no longer a requirement until after December 31st 2024 and up until that point existing CE certification, on its own, was all that was needed. Change, as the saying goes, is the only constant. 

So once again, welcome to this 2023 edition of the BSIF Guide to the UK Safety and Health Industry, I hope that you find it interesting and informative.

Alan Murray, CEO of BSIF

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OSH Forum 07/12/2022

JOIN THE BSIF at the Occupational Safety & Health Forum at the Hilton London Canary Wharf on 31 January 2023, or join virtually. The unique one-day event will help streamline your business and trim your budgets.

If you are a buyer to the industry, your place at the Forum is completely FREE and offers networking, learning and connection building.

Register Here

You will benefit from:

  • A personalised itinerary of meetings with industry suppliers who match your business requirements
  • Access to a series of seminar sessions presented by industry thought-leaders
  • Informal networking with peers
  • Lunch and refreshments throughout the day

Book your place here or for more information, please contact Katie Bullot on 01992 374049 or k.bullot@forumevents.co.uk

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Update to UKCA Guidance – PPE 07/12/2022

AS PREVIOUSLY advised the Government has made changes to the implementation of the UKCA regime and has just published the guidelines for the PPE sector.

They can be accessed through this link, Click Here.

The purpose of this note is to communicate the information and not to express views and opinions on the process of implementing the UKCA regime.

However, it is only right to say that I empathise with the feeling that we have again been marched to the top of a hill and marched right back down again!

The publication of the sector specific guidance has allowed further examination of the details and the headline is that until 11pm on the 31st of December 2024 products which conform to EU rules (which includes CE marking) can be placed on the GB market without reference to the UKCA process. This is a 2 year extension of the previously advised time in which CE is acceptable when placing PPE on the GB market. UKCA marking of course remains an option, you now can choose which route to follow.

Further, if an EU recognised conformity assessment body (Notified Body) has completed the relevant conformity assessment activities applying to a product, prior to 11pm on the 31st of December 2024, this would allow manufacturers to apply the UKCA mark without the need for any UK Approved Body involvement.

Manufacturers could then continue to place their products on the GB market on the basis of their existing CE certification for as long as their certificate is valid, or until the 31st of December 2027, whichever comes sooner.

Following on; the easements (published in June 2022) which allowed UKCA marking via labelling or on documents until 2025 have been extended until 2027. This extension to transitional arrangements also includes the UK suppliers of products (who are now in legal terms Importers) from the EEA, to continue to provide their details with accompanying documents as opposed to being on the product until December 2027.

We will continue to drill into the details of the guidance and deal with questions relating to “interpretations” as they arise and do our utmost to keep you informed.

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BSIF Safety Awards 2023 07/12/2022

THE BSIF Safety Awards 2023 are now open for entries!

We are delighted to announce that the annual BSIF Safety Awards are now open for entries.

The awards cover four categories;

  • Product Innovation – PPE
  • Product Innovation – Safety Product (Non PPE)
  • Customer Service
  • Safety Solution

In a change from previous years, and to accommodate the diverse features of entries, the BSIF Product Innovation Award will be split into two separate awards; The BSIF Product Innovation Award for PPE and the BSIF Product Innovation Award for Safety Products (non PPE).

All products will be considered based upon their entry submissions, the finalists will then go forward to judging day where the manufacturers will have the opportunity to present their entry to the panel of judges. The presentations will take place at a judging day during March.

The finalists will then be scored by the panel of judges and the winner announced, along with the Safety Solution and Customer Service award winners, at The Safety & Health Excellence Awards at the Vox, Birmingham on Wednesday 26th April 2023.

All members are welcome to enter into any of the categories and we can allow up to three entries per company for the Product Innovation Awards.

The closing date to submit your entries is Friday 10th February 2023.

The award winners will be announced as part of the Safety & Health Excellence Awards night being held at The Vox, Birmingham on Wednesday 26th April 2022.

The award brochure can be downloaded by following the link below. The application form for the Product Innovation award is included within the brochure. We encourage you to send your application and supporting materials via email rather than through the post to cut down on paper forms.

The Customer Service Award entry form is shown separately, this should be completed and returned to BSIF via email to ian.crellin@bsif.co.uk

BSIF Awards 2023 Brochure

BSIF Customer Service Award 2023 Entry Form

We look forward to receiving your entries and wish you the best of luck!

If you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact us.

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