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From the CEO's Desk

30 October 2017

On 10 and 11 October the BSIF team had the opportunity to meet the market, our members and stakeholders at the Health and Safety North Exhibition, held for the first time at Event City Manchester.

The event was a great success with visitor numbers at an all - time high. From the Federation’s perspective it is really encouraging to see the level of attendance and to have experienced the atmosphere of this exhibition.

One of the cornerstones of BSIF’s strategy is to ensure that Safety and Health as a discipline is recognised and celebrated as the universal force for good that it is. We can take heart that the whole vibe of the two days at Event City was really positive.

Content appears to be king when it comes to a successful exhibition in our market and the visitors had the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of value adding seminars and demonstrations across the topics vital to those involved in occupational safety & health.

In the 3M sponsored Safety Dialogue Theatre BSIF participated daily in the engaging two-way discussions on Respiratory Health and Hearing Protection. These events along with the dialogue event on Working at Height were extremely well attended with delegates appearing to thoroughly enjoy the experience and the learning provided.

A major element of the exhibition, from BSIF’s point of view was the opportunity to share a two way presentation on the steps necessary to ensure that product being provided to the UK and European market is able to comply with the new PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425. As with any change in legislation it is vital that both the commercial operators and the users of product understand the implications and that, there is a consensus of interpretation.

BSIF have a “Primary Authority” agreement with Trading Standards and we are embarking on a process to educate them, the official market surveillance authority on how the legislation should interpreted and applied. The plan thereafter is to issue a joint statement on what the changes mean and any impacts for users. We believe that this will ensure that there is no misinformation or misunderstanding and our status of Primary Authority will ensure that BSIF members are able to receive clear, concise and authoritative advice, which they can in turn pass on to their customer base.

It is essential that the UK is able to achieve a smooth, effective and efficient transition to the new Regulation. Personal Protective Equipment plays a vital role in ensuring that occupational safety and health is maintained. We are both in the midst of Brexit and in the middle of the timeline for the new Regulation becoming applicable and being applied exclusively from 2019.

BSIF’s seminar took delegates through a Step by Step process illustrating the actions that must be executed to ensure that products are able to be in compliance.
As those involved in the PPE market are aware the risks and therefore the products providing protection, are placed into risk categories (Categories I, II & III) and each category requires a range of compliance actions and differing levels of quality assurance once any necessary type testing and EU examination certificate has been granted. The presentation, given at the seminar and now available to the membership, walked the audience through the process in logical bite size steps.

Also covered were the actions necessary in the vital engagement with Notified Bodies (NB) and the options available for brand owners whether their NB had or had not yet been scoped within the new Regulation.

The seminar also presented a detailed explanation of the roles and definitions that different parts of the supply chain have, including users of PPE. This was illustrated using a 'Who am I' schematic which covered the key definitions of the group 'Economic Operators'. This included clear descriptions of a 'Manufacturer' an 'Importer' a 'Distributor' and an 'Authorised Representative'.

The “Who am I” illustration also explains the meaning and identifies those economic operators fulfilling the functions of 'Placing Product on the Market' and those 'Making available on the Market'. These two processes are entirely different and carry significantly different responsibilities under the new 'Regulation'.

The “Who am I” sheet and the “Step by Step” presentation are available to all BSIF members and those non - members who attended the seminar. The materials are also available to end users and stakeholders who support the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme.

End users who value the competent suppliers of quality PPE as part of an effective safety and health policy can register their support for the scheme and download resources by visiting www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk/register