What do you know about counterfeit PPE?

What do you know about counterfeit PPE?

The UK market is being overwhelmed by counterfeit PPE, with potentially life-threatening consequences. Forged items such as gloves and respiratory protection equipment (RPE), including face masks, are being offered for sale to businesses and distributors across the UK.

It’s easy for even an experienced buyer to be fooled. The goods are often mass-produced in the Far East, from non-compliant materials to reduced standards, that do not meet the essential criteria set out by the UK’s governing bodies. To an untrained eye spotting the difference between compliant and non-compliant finished goods can be difficult.

Often the route to market is via online channels where goods are offered as bulk buys, with attractive pricing structures. The primary objective for any business, in supplying PPE is to protect its employees. This should serve as the guiding principle when buying decisions are made – safety first.

Counterfeit PPE is illegal 

Tips to aid identification on counterfeit items:

  • All PPE must be supplied with usage instructions and be tested and stamped with a CE marking. This is a legal requirement.
  • You can request to see CE Certificates for all items of PPE.
  • CE Certificates must include several pieces of information as a minimum.
  • You can contact the notified body regarding the authenticity of any PPE.

Counterfeit items may also be accompanied by one of the many forged CE Certifications that are currently in circulation. Scott Direct is a member of the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and as such, offers access to a simple checklist for PPE buyers and specifiers, to aid the identification of counterfeit PPE and forged CE Certifications.

BSIF certificate check list.

There has often been confusion between the China Export CE mark and the European Conformance CE Mark. The differences are highlighted here:

How to distinguish a real CE Mark from a fake Chinese export mark

Contact us

If you would like support in sourcing compliant PPE, specific to your work environment and workforce requirements, or to arrange a call with a NEBOSH qualified consultant, please contact our customer service team:

Grangemouth@scott-direct.com or T: 01324 667500
Peterhead@scott-direct.com or T: 01799 400321
Lerwick@scott-direct.com or T: 01595 692506
Stirling@scott-direct.com or T: 01786 477320

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