The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has issued a stark warning following the widespread failure of non-member personal protective equipment (PPE) in rigorous safety testing. The Federation meticulously examined 123 non-member products, meticulously assessing their advertised performance, adequacy of marking, and compliance with established safety standards.
However, the results are deeply concerning. Only 21% – a mere 26 products – demonstrated full compliance, leaving a staggering 79% (97 products) falling demonstrably short of the essential testing criteria. Shockingly, many of these substandard products remain readily available and actively used, posing significant risks to unsuspecting wearers.
The failed products exhibited a range of critical safety deficiencies. Disturbingly, safety boots failed toe cap compression tests, potentially leaving wearers vulnerable to foot injuries. Equally concerning, safety spectacles offered inadequate impact resistance, with lenses cracking or breaking upon projectile impact. Additionally, a Respiratory Protective Mask (FFP3) performed at only half the required level during filter penetration tests, placing users at risk of exposure to harmful particulates.
BSIF CEO Alan Murray expressed grave concern: “Our latest test results serve as a stark reminder that non-compliant and substandard PPE and safety equipment are unfortunately prevalent within the UK market. Alarmingly, many unsuspecting users place their trust in these compromised products, potentially jeopardizing their safety.”
Mr. Murray emphasized the critical need for buyers and specifiers to meticulously review their procurement processes and implement stringent measures to ensure they receive PPE and safety equipment that is demonstrably fit for purpose. He added, “Verifying that suppliers hold the BSIF Registered Safety Supplier shield is the most effective way to guarantee that you are dealing with compliant, competent, and trustworthy providers. It is imperative to remember that while anyone can claim to sell ‘safety,’ the purchase of safety equipment necessitates utmost diligence and verification. Always insist on seeing the BSIF shield.”