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PPE saves lives, fakes risk them

10 May 2013

Approximately two in three accidents at work are caused by the non or inappropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

This statistic is based on the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) scheme and is taken from an analysis of the reports where PPE is mentioned. It is therefore crucial that appropriate PPE is supplied and worn by employees.

In times of austerity, it is especially tempting to want to buy cheaper safety products, but if these products donÕt fit properly, employees are less likely to wear them. PPE needs to meet EU standards to ensure you are complying with Health & Safety legislation.

To help combat the arrival of counterfeit and illegal PPE, the BSIF introduced the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS). The scheme ensures that all PPE is tested to the known performance requirement as stipulated by CE standards and that you are buying from a recognised and reputable source.

Organisations that become part of the scheme need to fulfil the following criteria;
¥ Be an approved BSIF member with an obligation to operate in a legal and ethical manner.
¥ Sign a formal and binding declaration, to be included in its quality manuals, stating that the safety products it offers are legal, fully comply with the PPE regulations and are appropriately CE marked.
¥ Allow an independent audit of your submission to ratify the information

As tempting as it may be to buy what appears to be ÔcheapÕ PPE, you can be putting lives at risk if it is a fake. Therefore, be sure you are buying from a reputable supplier with fully approved products. All you need to do is look for suppliers with the Registered Safety Supplier mark.