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Home > Company News > FOCUS ON PROTECTION: Anyone can sell safety, but you shouldn’t buy safety from anyone

FOCUS ON PROTECTION: Anyone can sell safety, but you shouldn’t buy safety from anyone

Posted on: 24/11/2021

Contribution to the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF)” is an award I never expected to receive.

I don’t work for the BSIF, I don’t have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to go about my work, and I’ve not directly suffered from a workplace incident.

So how or what did I contribute?

The BSIF is firmly established as the major independent voice of the British safety industry, helping to both influence legislation and provide industry in general with a source of authoritative information on a range of workplace safety issues.

I’ve made it my job to share, plagiarise and promote the BSIF’s work and messages to maximise their impact.

But PPE is the least effective method of reducing risk in the hierarchy of controls, so why do I bother to contribute?

PPE is used when the risk cannot be reduced enough to provide a safe working environment otherwise.

The federation’s dictum resonates with me. “Anyone can sell safety, but you shouldn’t buy safety from anyone.”

Anyone can sell PPE but does everyone take the time to ensure that wearers are trained to use the PPE properly? Do all PPE suppliers provide information about how to care and maintain the products? Is it the norm that safety suppliers talk to employers about the unseen risks that PPE protects users from – hearing protection and tinnitus, respirators and asbestosis etc. – so to encourage use? I’m presuming other PPE suppliers are also fulfilling their obligations in terms of product compliance within their supply chain also.

PPE is ineffective if it’s not used correctly, if it is not fit for purpose or not compatible with other products.

Whilst it might look the part, ineffective PPE wouldn’t be the last line of defence potentially resulting in irreversible harm. Just because it fits, the wearer may be covered but are they protected?

Anyone provided with PPE deserves to go home from work safe and well.

This article is featured in the November issue of the Dorset Business Focus magazine. Read on the online version here.


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