Businesses warned against buying PPE with bogus safety certificates
The British Standards Institute and other health and safety groups have warned that some personal protective equipment (PPE) on the market has falsified or inaccurate documentation. Many people are returning to work as the coronavirus restrictions are being eased and are being issued with new PPE, but they are reminded that equipment such as goggles and face masks should have the CE mark printed on them to confirm that they have undergone tests to meet safety standards.
The senior director of safety organisation NSF, James Pink, said:
“A lot of companies are not used to purchasing PPE, or just do it for occupational risk, rather than protecting against a communicable infectious agent. I’ve reviewed more than 10 companies that have been submitted as being a PPE supplier and there have been inaccuracies in the documentation.”
Pink wants a system that notifies employers about inadequate PPE. He says that PPE certificates can be verified as genuine on the VerifEye directory.
Many businesses are short on resources to purchase PPE for all their employers, so may be tempted to buy cheaper but substandard equipment. This could put workers at risk. Reputable PPE and workwear suppliers go through due diligence to make sure all the equipment they sell conforms to high safety standards.
The government has announced an extra £14m in funding for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Part of this money will be used for extra inspections where the suitability of PPE is assessed.