ARTICLE

Buying PPE? Look for a Registered Safety Supplier

08 August 2019

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) is the trade association for all organisations involved in the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety related products and services. From this position, the Federation believes strongly that occupational users have a right to expect their safety equipment to be of good quality, to protect them adequately, and to be fully compliant with all relevant regulations and requirements.

Furthermore, the BSIF believes passionately that all users, specifiers and purchasers of such equipment deserve to be serviced and supported by capable, knowledgeable and responsible suppliers.

All member businesses of the BSIF involved in the supply of PPE and related safety equipment are required to sign up and adhere to the requirements of the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme which places a number of obligations on the organisation. They are required to:

  • Make a formal and binding commitment that all PPE and related products supplied will comply with the requirements of the applicable regulations.
  • Maintain a quality management system and embed within it an Industry Code of Practice statement.
  • Have the capability to manage a product recall process and take other corrective actions in compliance with British Standard’s PAS 7100:2018 or equivalent.
  • Submit to the audit of one product per year randomly selected from their offering. For PPE this will include testing of the product to one or more clauses from any EN product performance standard to which certification is claimed. For safety equipment outside of mainstream PPE and not regulated by publicly available standards, it will include an audit of their quality policy and all relevant regulatory documentation.
  • Commit to educate and accredit customer facing staff to the Ofqual level 2 BSIF Safe Supply Course and Qualification or other appropriate qualifications.
  • For Importers and Distributors, demonstrate that they comply with the “Obligations and Responsibilities” required under the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 by maintaining the appropriate BSIF Compliance Protocol or equivalent for each product.

This provides a significant layer of confidence for users and a differentiator for suppliers from competitors who do not make such commitments. When sourcing PPE and related occupational safety equipment buyers can look for the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme logo, which is the shield shown here.

Furthermore, member companies commit to their customer facing staff working towards attainment of the Ofqual level 2 Safe Supply course, a publically recognised qualification which adds to the professional development of the individual and to the capability of the organisation. The course comprises four modules which cover the legal aspects of supplying PPE, CE marking and certification of products, the ‘policing’ of PPE by market surveillance authorities, and user management of safety.

This is another significant differentiator for the member company from competitors who do not demonstrate such a level of commitment. Qualified staff provide a responsible source of supply of PPE based on knowledge, capability and a clearer understanding of the needs of their customers.

End user companies can join the growing number of exponents of the scheme by registering as supporters on the dedicated supporter’s website:

www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk

When registering here supporters can find additional resources and news of networking events. Their company logo will be displayed, along with their commitment to always seek to source their PPE and related safety equipment needs from a BSIF Registered Safety Supplier.

 
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