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Make sure all PPE is fit for purpose

It goes without saying that all personal protective equipment or PPE must be fit for purpose.

Yet, an established freight transport company has issued a warning to businesses that have leapt on to the PPE shortage dilemma as a means of providing a new income stream.

Anton Gunter, managing director of Global Freight said that he is seeing an ‘unprecedented rise’ in enquiries from newly established import companies. Whilst Mr Gunter said he applauds their diversification and resilience, he has voiced concerns that many of these companies are not checking their goods have proper certification.

Speaking to the Shropshire Star, Mr Gunter said: “We are becoming concerned that some people who are new to importing and international trade are not doing their research properly and are purchasing goods from abroad which don’t have the proper certification.

This is certainly the case for PPE products and without the correct certification importers risk having their goods held up at ports and airports. In some cases goods are not being released because they fail to meet UK safety standards.”

In an effort to meet demand, the government has relaxed certification requirements to some extent, but will be quick to act where they find PPE imports are not up to standard. This was made very clear when an 84-tonne shipment of PPE from Turkey was impounded recently because it failed to meet UK safety regulations.

Katrina Elsey, personal injury lawyer commented: “An increasing number of companies will be purchasing PPE for use by their employees. It is important to ensure compliance with regulatory and product safety requirements in relation to PPE, whether it is manufactured in the UK or imported from other countries.

Whilst the government has followed European Commission guidance to relax the regulatory requirements in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is still vital that PPE is fit for purpose and meets appropriate standards to ensure it is safe to use within the UK.”

See the HSE website for advice on PPE

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