Main points of attention
PPE (incl. RPE) is the last element in risk control hierarchy --> In practice often the only or primary mitigation of the risk (mainly small and medium enterprises and healthcare sector).
Due to the current situation with the Omicron variant of the virus, in more and more situations the use of FFP2 masks by the general public is required. This is not always a government decision, but also specific organisations/facilities require this for the public visiting (e.g. healthcare facilities, universities/schools, …).
Therefore, the European Safety Federation considers it necessary to repeat some concerns we already made a year ago, and also add a few following recent evolutions.
First of all, we want to refer to our paper dated 04/02/2021 (see attached as annex) as the vast majority of the points made at that moment are still valid.
The UK Office for Product Safety & Standards publishes Guidance for PPE being supplied in or into Great Britain as well as for PPE being supplied in or into Northern Ireland. For the latest version of the guidance, see : Guidance for businesses on Regulation 2016/425 and the Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018
Link to the official list of Approved Bodies for PPE
Our effective member in the UK, BSIF, published a some Q&A concerning Brexit on their website (News section) - see www.bsif.co.uk/newsarticles
202112 : ESF organises on 16/02/2022 a webinar on UKCA for its members - see https://www.eu-esf.org/services/workshops/ukca-workshop-16th-of-februari-2022
202108 : The UK Government has extended the deadline by one year, through until the 1st of January 2023, for the placing on the market of CE marked product to still be acceptable in GB (England, Wales and Scotland). This means UKCA certification is necessary latest 1/1/2023 instead of 1/1/2022. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-marking#check-whether-you-need-to-use-the-new-ukca-marking
20201118 : find here the ESF note concerning UKCA mark
ESF would like to bring to your attention that the obligation (or recommendation) to wear FFP2 masks for the general public might not result in the intended protection and could even be a step back, due to the created false sense of protection. We urge all involved authorities to carefully consider all aspects and make sure that a potential obligation (or recommendation) is accompanied by the necessary supporting measures.
20170427: ESF Proposal for guidance on how to deal with certficates in the transition from Directive to Regulation.
20190507: An updated version is available
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The information contained in this communication (letter, e-mail, on the ESF website or in documents available for download on the ESF website or as attachment to letter or e-mail, etc..) is intended for guidance only and whilst the information is provided in utmost good faith and has been based on the best information currently available, is to be relied upon at the users own risk.ESF will not accept any direct or indirect liability deriving from it. No representations or warranties are made with regards to its completeness or accuracy and no liability will be accepted for damages of any nature whatsoever resulting from the use of or reliance on the information. The guidance is based on available legislation and information and the interpretation of that legislation/information by ESF. Each company based on its own decision-making process may decide to use the guidance in full, partially or not, as it suits its needs but no liability shall be attributable to ESF.