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A very busy year

06 December 2016

2016 has been a significant year for all the BSIF Product Groups and Working Groups.

The revitalisation and relaunch of the Clean Air? Take Care! campaign material was completed. The functional structure of the original information leaflet and workplace poster is retained but the contents are updated, providing links throughout, signposting the reader to websites where further information or training material is available on the topic being discussed, whether it is occupational lung disease, local exhaust ventilation (LEV), using the different types of respiratory protective equipment (RPE), or respirator fit testing, and at www.bsif.co.uk/clean-air-take-care you can also download two films, a tool-box talk, and a full training presentation on the facts about work related respiratory diseases.

Other market guidance documents are in progress from various Groups. The Hearing Protection Product Group is finalising an awareness document on using ear muffs and safety helmets together as many users are unaware that all models need to be tested together if they are to achieve the levels of protection claimed when they are used in combination.

The Safety Footwear Group has delayed issuing its guidance on selection of product based on markings, particularly with reference to slip resistance, due to the success of lobbying to get the relevant standard revised, so they are ‘watching this space’ to see what guidance will still be required. This Group have however concentrated heavily on getting the message out to the market about poorly performing injection moulded composite toe caps and the measures taken to address this with the component supply chain.

CEN went ahead with publication of EN388 for protective gloves and our national standards body, the British Standards Institute (BSI), has inserted a national annex to explain the areas the UK still has concerns about. The main one is that there are now two test methods for cut resistance, and their results do not relate to each other, so the new markings on gloves will be difficult for users to relate to their previous requirements. BSI and the BSIF are producing jointly authored guidance to help the market understand what to look for.

In 2017 the Product Groups will further enhance their role with BSI, CEN and ISO in the development of national, European and global standards, further expanding the opportunity for our members to be involved in how the requirements for their industry will change.