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BSI opens gas capacity laboratory

06 October 2017

BSI, the business standards company, has extended its Hemel Hempstead Centre of Excellence for respiratory protective equipment testing, with the opening of the Gas Capacity Laboratory capable of testing the effectiveness of gas and combined filters used in RPE.

BSI now offers RPE testing including gas capacity testing of filters against gases such as hydrogen cyanide and sulphur dioxide which may be encountered in workplace situations in industries such as utilities, petro-chemical and agriculture, along with fire-fighting and chemical incidents.

The laboratory officially opened today by Rt Hon Mike Penning MP, Member of Parliament for Hemel Hempstead. This new facility means that BSI can now offer RPE manufacturers a one-stop-shop service for masks and filters for gas and combined protection, including Air Purifying Respirators (APR) and Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) systems.

This extension to BSI’s PPE services reinforces the UK’s testing capabilities, and means that BSI is both the largest PPE Notified Body and the only UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited independent commercial testing and certification body in the UK capable of testing and certifying to next April’s new PPE regulations for RPE. BSI also offers testing for the internationally recognized Kitemark, as well as a range of European and ISO standards.

Mark Basham, managing director, BSI EMEA comments: “From April 2018 all PPE products coming in to the market must comply with the new regulation, with just a year allowed for the transition. This is just one of a growing number of requirements globally to which manufacturers must conform, and alongside CE marking, our Kitemark™ certification offers access to a global market of the most demanding specifiers and purchasers.”

The BSI Kitemark is one of the most recognised symbols of quality and safety and offers true value to consumers, businesses and procurement organizations. For consumers, the symbol means that a product has gone through rigorous testing, above and beyond the requirements of CE marking, helping to give the peace of mind that the quality, safety and reliability of their purchase is guaranteed. For organisations, ensuring their products meet the highest possible standards is a key way of ensuring they’ll continue to generate revenue into the future.

The Centre of Excellence, based in Hemel Hempstead was significantly upgraded in 2014, with £5million of investment extending the range of tests and schemes it is able to support, with continuing investments planned to support further expansion of services in testing and certification. BSI currently employs more than 80 people at the site and in addition offers an apprenticeship scheme in partnership with Oaklands College, with approximately 10 students registered at present.