Kelly Rose

From the CEO's desk

BSIF launches Check-Select-Protect campaign to tackle ineffective PPE and safety products. Alan Murray provides an insight.

OCTOBER SEES the launch of the BSIF's Check-Select-Protect campaign, which focuses on getting buyers of PPE and safety equipment always to check that their vendor is a Registered Safety Supplier.

Regular readers of these pages will be familiar with the importance of using a Registered Safety Supplier and the essential role the scheme plays in ensuring the safety products you buy are fit for purpose. 

Over the years, interest in the scheme has grown, and many proactive companies now specify the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme for their supply chains. Doing so reassures them about their safety products' performance and helps them meet their obligations under PPE Legislation to ensure PPE is suitable and fit for purpose. It also shows they are serious about health and safety. 

Those not yet specifying the scheme should be aware that with an ever-increasing number of vendors selling PPE and safety products in the UK and surveillance resources stretched, the use of ineffective PPE and safety equipment that puts people at risk of injury, or worse, is on the rise. 

Part of the challenge is that it is sometimes almost impossible to distinguish between non-compliant and legitimate products. The BSIF has been tackling this problem for many years, but the pandemic shone a light on how easily substandard products can find their way onto the market, with reports suggesting the UK government wasted hundreds of millions of pounds on poor quality and unusable PPE during the global health crisis. 

While PPE became a subject of national interest during the pandemic, substandard PPE and safety equipment is an issue we deal with at the BSIF day in/day out. In the period June 2021 to May 2022, we sourced, assessed and tested 160 products outside of BSIF Members, 144 of which either didn't pass the testing or did not have compliant markings or supporting documentation. This represents an alarming 89% failure rate and suggests there could be a large volume of products regularly in use in the UK that may not be fit for purpose.

It's no surprise that HSM's PPE survey, published in PPE Insight, identified that whether a product performs to claimed standards is the most important consideration for buyers when sourcing PPE, ranking above performance, comfort and cost.

How can you be confident PPE & safety equipment you buy is compliant and from a competent, capable supplier?

We know that "anyone can sell safety", and of course, thousands do, but determining whether the products you buy are coming from a competent, compliant and trustworthy supplier and that they will perform as promised can be a challenge. This is where the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme come in. 

Checking that your supplier holds the BSIF shield will give you confidence that they:

  • Will only sell certified PPE

  • They meet the obligations and responsibilities required by the PPE Regulations

  • They submit their products for additional independent performance testing

  • They educate their public-facing staff in the BSIF Safe Supply qualification

  • They maintain a quality policy and they hold all the necessary qualifications and authorisations for service provision

  • Further, being part of BSIF a Registered Supplier commits that they will always trade honestly and ethically


The purpose of BSIF's CHECK-SELECT-PROTECT campaign is to ensure that the Registered Safety Supplier scheme is front of everyone's mind every time they buy PPE and safety equipment. If the first step people take during the PPE and safety equipment procurement process is to check whether their vendor is a Registered Safety Supplier, we can significantly reduce the volume of ineffective products finding their way onto the market.

Therefore we are urging every business and organisation in the UK that buys PPE and safety equipment to follow this simple three-step process when buying PPE and safety equipment:

CHECK your supplier is BSIF Registered. BSIF audited suppliers are compliant, competent and trustworthy.

SELECT appropriate, certified and approved products. Registered Safety Suppliers can support the product selection process through their competence, capability and knowledge.

PROTECT your people, your most precious asset, and help your business to thrive.

The enduring message is that "anyone can sell safety, but you wouldn't buy safety from just anyone. Always specify the shield."

Media campaign

We will be sharing this message across social media and the trade press in the coming weeks and months, so look out for our articles, infographics and videos. We are also conducting interviews with specifiers and PPE and safety equipment users to better understand their experiences. If you are an existing specifier of the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme, or you are interested in mandating it for your supply chain, please contact if you would like to share your experiences and views. 

Specifying a Registered Safety Supplier is completely free - you can find a list of RSS members on our dedicated website

You can also find out more about the Registered Safety Supplier Scheme by watching the new BSIF video The BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme: What you need to know when buying PPE & Safety Equipment.

Alan Murray is chief executive of BSIF. For more information, visit

PPE buyers urged to Check-Select-Protect
PPE buyers urged to Check-Select-Protect
Company Info

British Safety Industry Federation

BSIF House
3 Austin Mews
Hemel Hempstead

01442 248744

Related Topics

Login / Sign up