While the safety industry is working flat out to provide suitable and adequate legally compliant PPE where it is needed most, the market is absolutely awash with offers of product with extremely questionable provenance, supported by certification that is at best misleading.
With an incredible surge in demand and a dislocation of the traditional supply chains, suppliers and importers, previously not known to us, have appeared offering products, especially RPE and Medical Masks. The domestic supply chain, starved of these products has been understandably desperate to access product.
PPE is a highly regulated product category, for good reason, these are life sustaining products. For the sake of the health of workers we cannot afford sub – standard product that has not been properly assessed to be placed on the market.
I would say that over the last 3 weeks BSIF has been reacting to more than 40 requests per day for help in authenticating certificates. At times this has been almost overwhelming.
But who would be carrying out this vital service if not BSIF?
We have been supporting members who are keen to do the right thing and we are following up with non – members to ensure that only safe compliant products get through. We are working with the Trading Standards Authorities, BEIS and OPSS continually.
Below are just some of the examples of dubious certificates that are in the market, and while not accusing these companies directly, as there are forgeries around, I would draw your attention to the ECM certificate. This is a voluntary certificate allowing the use of the ECM mark, but carrying the CE logo which is actively misleading manufacturers and importers into believing that the certificate is a valid EU document. It is not. Please do not be misled. We have seen this type of scandalous practise in other institutions and have continuously called on the EU Commission for action.
The Commission has now reacted and through ACCREDIA the Italian accreditation body ECM have been told to desist and warned about future behaviour.
The risks of product entering the market through businesses that do not know what they are doing has never been more obvious. It is imperative that users should look to a Registered Safety Supplier for quality products provided by capable knowledgeable staff.