What is the BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme?
The BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme is a quality assurance scheme that helps buyers of PPE and safety equipment find suppliers they can trust. The scheme’s mission is to assure users that only compliant and correctly performing products are supplied through a capable, educated, competent supply chain. All BSIF members who market PPE and safety equipment are Registered Safety Suppliers and are audited annually.
Why is the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme needed?
Vendors of PPE and safety products are responsible for ensuring the equipment they sell meets relevant standards, but not all equipment sellers understand these obligations, while others disregard them. A lack of market surveillance and enforcement in the UK means substandard products can find their way onto the market.
For example, the law states that PPE must be correctly tested and certified to comply with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations, but not every supplier of PPE follows the rules.
Some items claim UKCA and/or CE approvals but, in reality, they have not been appropriately certified. In the BSIF’s experience, these products often do not perform as they should, putting lives at risk and, in doing so, exposing businesses and individuals to prosecution for failing to protect staff.
What are some examples of substandard products?
Some recent examples include safety trainers advertised as indestructible but that don’t pass a basic midsole puncture test; cut-resistant gloves that fail to protect against cuts; and fall arrest equipment that lacked supporting documentation. None of these products came from a Registered Safety Supplier.
How does the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme help?
Buyers can be assured that any vendor displaying the BSIF Registered Safety Supplier shield has signed a binding declaration that the PPE and safety equipment they offer meets the correct standards, fully complies with the regulations and is UKCA and or CE marked. This means that by using a Registered Safety Supplier you can be confident you will receive genuine products that are fit for purpose as well as genuine information and guidance.
What commitments do Registered Safety Suppliers make?
Registered Safety Suppliers:
• Formally declare and commit to selling only Certified PPE and safety products that perform to claims made
• Submit their products to random independent scheme testing
• Maintain a company Quality Policy
• Commit to having their customer-facing staff educated and qualified in the Safe Supply Course
What’s the significance of the Safe Supply Course?
The BSIF’s Safe Supply Course is a publicly recognised qualification that helps businesses that sell PPE and safety equipment to demonstrate their capability to customers. The Safe Supply Course enables customer-facing staff to develop their expertise and knowledge so they can provide specialist advice on PPE & safety equipment.
How does the BSIF audit Registered Safety Suppliers?
The annual audit process varies depending upon the company being audited – manufacturers have a different audit process to distributors and again is different for those providing services. At its most basic, the audit assesses the quality processes and management in place for these organisations and tests or assesses products or services offered – either through laboratory testing to specific publicly available standards/test methods or by assessing/witnessing the competency of organisations to conduct the services that they offer.
How will using a Registered Safety Supplier help my business?
Under PPE Regulations, employers are responsible for ensuring the PPE they buy is compliant. However, few employers have the knowledge and experience to validate suppliers’ claims and it can be very difficult to distinguish responsible suppliers from less responsible ones. Specifying a Registered Safety Supplier helps employers meet their legal responsibilities and saves procurement departments time and money on supplier verification.
However, investing in the right PPE and safety equipment is about more than compliance.
Providing suitably specified products can have a positive impact on everything, from attracting a diverse workforce to improving worker morale and business performance. For example, an innovative supplier may be able to provide you with correctly specified PPE that not only suits the hazards faced but is also designed with worker comfort and suitability for all those who may need to use it.
How can I find a Registered Safety Supplier?
A full list of Registered Safety Suppliers is available at: www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk The website includes a searchable database that allows end users to look for specific products or services and/or by geographical area.
Specify RSSS today
To find out more about the benefits of specifying a BSIF registered supplier in your supply chain contact the BSIF today at email@example.com or by calling (0)1442 248744.
Anyone can sell safety but you shouldn’t buy safety from just anyone: Always specify the shield.