Airport worker health and safety management

How to Avoid Buying Fake PPE

How to Avoid Buying Fake PPE

PPE is an abbreviation that we’re all getting very used to hearing. In all industries, including aviation, the call for personal protective equipment for the workforce has never been more widely heard than in the last few months.

As the UK aviation industry attempts to dust itself off from the devastation of the Coronavirus pandemic, it has become vital to ensure the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in place to keep staff safe and prevent the virus from affecting more lives.

Yet, worryingly, as the government tries to get the UK economy back on its feet and ensure workers are properly protected from COVID-19, an influx of ‘pop-up’ PPE suppliers have appeared from nowhere in the last 12 weeks to cash-in on this market. This has created a dangerous situation, where it has become difficult for those not in the know to be sure that the PPE they are buying is as effective as it purports to be.

When it comes to sourcing PPE for the aviation industry, it is vital to know that you are working with an established supplier of PPE, one that is knowledgeable about and adheres to the correct safety standards, rather than a company which could be providing sub-standard PPE with the sole aim of profiting from a terrible situation.

Check if your supplier is BSiF assured

One of the easiest and most reassuring steps you can take to ensure you are sourcing aviation PPE from a credible supplier is to check that they are BSiF accredited. Working with a supplier that is accredited to the British Safety Industry Federation is your guarantee that you are dealing with a credible and audited suppler who responsibly provides aviation industry related safety products that meet the relevant standards.

The BSIF created the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS) to support the UK safety market. Companies displaying the scheme’s logo have signed a binding declaration that the safety equipment and services they offer meet the appropriate standards, fully complies with PPE regulations and is correctly CE marked.

The scheme also provides assurance to airside personnel that only compliant and correctly performing aviation industry products are being supplied through a capable, educated, competent supply chain.

While checking their BSiF accreditation is the first step, there are other steps you can take to avoid buying fake PPE and give you peace of mind that you and your airside staff are safely protected against Covid19, as well as other hazards.

Your PPE supplier checklist

Ask yourself – does the supplier normally sell aviation PPE as part of their main business? A big giveaway is companies who don’t usually sell PPE adding to their service.

The first identifier could be the company name, which should give you a good indicator of what their main business is and the fact that they don’t usually supply PPE. It doesn’t automatically mean the PPE they are selling will be fake or sub-standard, but it definitely means you should be careful and check thoroughly when considering them as a PPE supplier.

Next – do they have a website? If they don’t, or if its main focus is not PPE, but something completely unrelated, then this could be another giveaway that PPE is not their primary business.

The next thing to do is take a look for the company on LinkedIn. Their LinkedIn profile should tell you how long they have been trading. If the company has been created in the last 12 weeks and is suddenly selling PPE, then this could be another identifier.

The final step is pick up the phone and talk to them. Do they know what they are talking about and can they reassure you that the PPE they are selling is fit-for-purpose and compliant with all regulations?

Always check for certification

Now this is a vital step – always ask for the examination certificate, ensuring that the model number of the product you are purchasing appears on the certificate. They should also have a corresponding declaration of conformity for the product you are interested in purchasing.

If they can’t provide the information you need on email, before a sale is agreed, then walk away. Any decent PPE supplier will gladly supply this information without any resistance.

Choose an established, reputable PPE supplier

Equipping all airside staff, permanent, temporary and contractors, with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is key to creating and maintaining a safe workplace. Contego Aviation Solutions stocks a vast range of protective clothing, PPE and corporate wear, including our own WEARMASTER® range.

Our friendly and expert team is always on hand to give advice and guidance on the right aviation PPE and protective clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or to discuss your requirements.

To find out more about our extensive range of products visit our online shop.