During 2015, the BSIF were actively engaged with several suppliers of safety footwear in addressing the issue of non –compliant, non – performing styles.
The product failures occurred in toe cap compression tests specified within EN 20345: 2011 and it is believed that the major cause was the use of thermo plastic in the construction of the toe cap rather than non – metallic fibre composite materials.
Despite the activity of the Federation, we are seeing evidence that there are still many styles of footwear with this problem in the UK market.
Safety footwear is commonly a bought – in product, with a long supply chain and often the importer is unaware that the footwear being sourced now has a toe cap component which will not provide the user with the protection level that they expect.
We call on the Membership to redouble their efforts in investigating the products in their range and ensure that their suppliers have the necessary quality assurance in place in order to guarantee the quality and performance of the products.
Later this month the BSIF will be re-launching the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme and going forward the conditions of the scheme will require independent testing of product to ensure that what is being provided to the market still performs to the requirements of the EN test clauses. We have long held the view that there is a vulnerability with Category II PPE, in that it was type tested when first put on the market but with no requirement for ongoing quality assurance within the PPE Directive.
The current evidence from safety footwear toe cap failures reinforces our view positive action is required now.