Home>Trade Body>BSiF>From the CEO's desk
Home>PPE>General PPE>From the CEO's desk

From the CEO's desk

07 September 2016

HSM readers are regularly updated on our efforts to forge strong relationships with Government organisations including Trading Standards, the national body conducting market surveillance, ensuring product compliance.

Its remit spans thousands of products, from food items to fireworks and also expecting expertise and focus on PPE across the country is unrealistic. We have been active in our efforts to achieve a dedicated profile for PPE within this portfolio and this remains an ongoing focus.

In August, the results of a Workplace Survey conducted by the Chartered Trading Standards were published. This study highlighted huge reductions in resource previously dedicated  to product and market surveillance, with the total spend nationally falling from £213million in 2010 to now £124m, and a drop in staffing of over 12% since 2014. What does this mean for the future of PPE product compliance?

Starving Trading Standards of essential resources means that they will lack the capacity to actively investigate issues of products and performance standards and could mean that the safety and health of the UK’s workforce will be compromised. Our Registered Safety Supplier Scheme is leading the movement in ensuring PPE is correctly tested and certified to the appropriate EU standards, with the resounding message that: “Anyone can sell safety but you wouldn’t buy safety from anyone.” Support from Trading Standards on this is crucial.

As we continue to see reports on inadequate PPE being issued, it is essential that all of the necessary resources are in place to react accordingly. This is more important then ever as we head into a potentially tumultuous Brexit period. Otherwise, how can end users expect all PPE to be fit for purpose?

I would like to draw your attention to an initiative encouraging best practice in safety processes this month which is Fire Door Safety Week, held between 26 September – 2 October, led by the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) to communicate the importance of fire doors in saving lives and protecting property. Often, fire doors are wedged open meaning that if an emergency was to occur it would not provide adequate protection and there are issues surrounding poor installation and maintenance that is resulting in doors not being used correctly.

The social media campaign #ClickItKickIt is designed to engage and educate building owners and building users on how to use fire doors correctly. We are always delighted to support such initiatives that encourage best practice and hope the week is a success for the BWF.

In closing, we look forward to seeing many of our members and leading industry figures at the 2016 BSIF Networking Day, being held at the Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club on Thursday 29 September. We look forward to giving a full update on this fantastic event that celebrates industry success and stimulates fresh conversations in the next issue.