New regulations proposed to prevent counterfeit PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

By | October 25, 2017

 

New regulations proposed to prevent counterfeit PPE

(Personal Protective Equipment)

Calls for an urgent revision of the European PPE Directive have resulted from an influx of “fake”, inferior Personal Protective Equipment, much of it coming from abroad.

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The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has reported that there has been a distinct increase in the quantity, range and availability of products manufactured using substandard materials, being sold within the PPE industry.

The new legislation would make retailers and distributors responsible for ensuring products they sell meet the required safety standards, rather than all responsibility falling on the manufacturer.

A recent survey on the PPE market, conducted by leading UK producer of safety products, also highlighted that an important factor in PPE management is ensuring the equipment is in good serviceable condition. Particular difficulty arises when contractors, who may not share the same perception of safety standards as the organisation engaging them, provide their own PPE.

Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace can be a lifesaver. Workers, and their employers, rely on their PPE to protect them from injury and, in extreme circumstances, death, from unseen dangers.

When a piece of equipment is substandard, or counterfeit, the consequences can be dire. In an environment where there is a risk of falling objects landing on the head, a worker wearing a substandard helmet could be killed. Or they could be blinded if wearing a substandard face shield while breaking concrete blocks, for example. If a dust mask is fake, the wearer may be inhaling hazardous substances that could include asbestos, without knowing, until it is too late. The only way to ensure a product is providing protection is if it is an authentic product that has been properly verified.

It is hoped that this new approach, brought about a change in the legislation, will help tackle the issue of poor quality, counterfeit PPE in UK workplaces – and protect employees from the potentially fatal consequences of these inferior products.

For advice and guidance on PPE see “Personal Protective Equipment” on the HS A-Z

H&S is not just for Work!

You’ve been looking forward to your holidays – and the chance to relax and unwind. The last thing you probably want to think about is health and safety.

But while you may be confident this is taken care of whilst at work, you also need to keep it in mind when on holiday – particularly if you’re holidaying abroad!

Individual countries have their own health and safety standards – some falling very short of what we expect to find in the UK.

As an Employer you can help raise the awareness of your staff to the factors they should consider before leaving for foreign climes – especially if they have responsibility for young children.

General standards of safety, hygiene, fire precautions etc. abroad may be far lower than in the UK – but there is a lot of help and guidance to draw on to help safeguard your staff and their families whilst abroad.

This covers everything from protecting against illness (perhaps due over exposure to the sun); ensuring the building you’re staying in is structurally sound (no collapsing balconies / there’s safe egress in case of emergency); to tips on how to avoid getting mugged.

Doing a quick reckie of the hotel or accommodation you’re staying in, can be a good start. The national press have featured the sad consequences of mal-functioning heaters and the importance of ensuring premises have carbon monoxide monitors. As well as checking your room has a suitable monitor, it’s wise to find out where the fire escapes are ,and that nothing’s blocking your path, and that that railings are secure and of sufficient height.

Also remember that health standards are different in other countries and that diseases may persist there that are now non-existent in the UK. So, no matter how appealing, avoid such things as having your skin pierced or tattooed, including henna tattoos. Rabies is a serious hazard all over the world so ensure you avoid touching animals, especially wild or stray ones. And discourage children from petting animals – no matter how cute they look.

Make sure that all essential medication goes with you. Keep a note with you of any significant medical condition you may have and details of any medication you are taking. It’s recommended that your luggage includes a small first aid kit.

Check out the Government’s own website www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo – staying safe and healthy abroad and others, such as “10 top tips for having a safe holiday abroad” by the Swimming Teaching Association (STA) with a focus particularly on children and pool safety.

See also “Sun Safety” on the HS A-Z for advice of protecting yourself from sun damage.

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