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BSIF Launches New PPE Safety Checklist

BSI Launches New PPE Safety Checklist
08 June 2023

The British Safety Industry Federation has published a checklist to help users check whether personal protective equipment is up to standard.

Recent research from the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) found that some PPE on the market are not as effective as advertised.  Tests on 127 non-member products showed that only 18 (15 per cent) were fully compliant.

This means 108 products (85 per cent) failed to meet the regulatory criteria, many of which are still on sale.

Products supplied by BSIF Registered Safety Suppliers, whose products are tested annually as part of the scheme’s audit process produced positive results. Of 387 tests completed on Registered Safety Suppliers’ products, 332 (86 per cent) passed immediately, and of the 55 (14 per cent) that initially did not meet the test criteria, all issues were subsequently resolved.


PPE During COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rush to procure suitable PPE for medical settings across he globe, and those hurried procurement strategies have since come under scrutiny. In the UK, the Department for Health & Social Care was left with £4 billion of PPE that could not be used in the NHS.

This includes 817 million items costing £673 million which were found to be defective, including gowns that are not water-repellent and counterfeit face masks.

Additionally, a report from the Public Accounts Committee said that as a result of a “haphazard purchasing strategy” 24 per cent per cent of the PPE contracts awarded are now in dispute - including contracts for products that were not fit for purpose and one contract for 3.5 billion gloves where there are allegations of modern slavery against the manufacturer.


BSIF PPE Checklist


The new BSIF PPE checklist has been created to help ensure that PPE complies with the law and conforms to PPE Regulation 2016/425. It presents a series of questions to ask when purchasing PPE, which are divided into sections for ease of use: Product Markings, Required Documentation, Product Condition, and Storage.  

Examples of questions included in the checklist are: 


  • Does the PPE have a UKCA, UKNI or CE Mark applied to it?
  • Was the PPE issued with User Instructions included?
  • Is there a Declaration of Conformity with the PPE
  • Is the PPE clean, undamaged and suitable for use?
  • Was the PPE stored correctly, according to the User Instructions?


BSIF CEO Alan Murray says: “This checklist is a reminder that while anyone can sell safety, you shouldn’t buy safety from just anyone. Failing to check your PPE is fit for purpose could leave you or your employees, for whom you have a duty of care, vulnerable and unprotected, and also expose your organisation to the risk of prosecution. The easiest way to check your PPE is compliant is by only buying from a Registered Safety Supplier.”  

The checklist can be downloaded for free at: Check-your-PPE.pdf ( 

Picture: a photograph of two people working on a solar panel, both wearing hard hats, high-vis jackets and gloves. Image Credit: Pexels

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 June 2023


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