In a significant move to enhance workplace safety, the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has introduced a comprehensive checklist for ensuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) compliance. This initiative addresses concerns raised by a BSIF analysis last year, which found that much of the PPE available in the market fails to meet advertised protection standards.
The Checklist: A Tool for Compliance and Safety
The new BSIF PPE checklist is specifically designed to aid specifiers and users in ensuring that their PPE not only complies with legal requirements but also adheres to the PPE Regulation 2016/425. It encompasses a range of critical questions, divided into categories for ease of use: Product Markings, Required Documentation, Product Condition, and Storage.
According to the BSIF guide, essential checks include verifying PPE markings, such as the UKCA, UKNI, or CE Mark, and ensuring the inclusion of User Instructions and a Declaration of Conformity. Additionally, it emphasises the importance of PPE being clean, undamaged, suitably maintained, and stored correctly.
BSIF’s Call for Diligence
Alan Murray, CEO of the BSIF, underscores the importance of this initiative. “This checklist serves as a reminder that while safety can be offered by many, it should not be purchased from just anyone.
Neglecting to verify if PPE is fit for purpose could leave employees vulnerable and unprotected, and pose legal risks for the organisation,” he said. Murray encourages the use of BSIF Registered Safety Suppliers, who are committed to ethical trading and supplying only conforming and fit for purpose products.
Addressing Market Shortfalls
The need for such a checklist has been highlighted by previous BSIF analysis, which revealed significant shortcomings in the PPE market. Many products failed to match the protection levels they advertised, posing a risk to users and emphasising the need for stricter compliance and verification measures.
Empowering Employers and Employees
The checklist is a valuable resource for employers and employees alike, ensuring that they are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to make informed decisions about PPE. It covers various aspects of PPE usage, including its condition, suitability for the intended purpose, and adherence to specified standards. The checklist is freely available for download, offering easy access to vital safety information.
The introduction of the BSIF PPE checklist marks a crucial step in enhancing workplace safety across the UK. By providing a clear and accessible guide, the BSIF aims to elevate standards of PPE compliance, ensuring that both employers and employees are adequately protected against workplace hazards. This initiative not only promotes safety but also supports legal compliance, reinforcing the importance of due diligence in the selection and use of PPE.