Is your safety equipment genuinely safe?
23 January 2013
In the September issue of Health & Safety Matters we highlighted the growing problem of Fake CE Certificates of Conformance and the consequent issues this raises. If the product has not been tested, will it really perform as it should? Probably not, and since the certificate is not genuine, the product should not be used in any occupational environment, since noncertified personal protective equipment is illegal for use at work.
So, a double problem: The product may well injure or kill the worker and, since the employer has supplied the illegal product, the resultant litigation could lead to substantial fines or imprisonment.
Recently, a fake CE conformance certificate was exposed in the Czech Republic for 'Dynamic Mountaineering Rope', manufactured and supplied by a company in China.
Following a serious incident whilst using the rope, the certificate was checked with the testing body, and it was found that it was not genuine. The product had never been tested and failed during use, causing a serious injury.
An escape respirator sold into the marine market has also been exposed as a fake. This product, bearing a major manufacturer's brand, appeared to be genuine and was accompanied by appropriate certification. During trials, its shortcomings were exposed and subsequently the certificate was found to be a fake. Since this product would only have been used in an emergency situation, the results of its poor performance may have gone unnoticed until called upon to save someone's life. If it were not for the vigilance of the tester, the outcome could have been fatal.
How can you check if the certificate is genuine? The BSIF has published a checklist to help at www.bsif.co.uk. Follow this simple guidance to help be sure the products you supply will meet the required performance.