As we continue to experience challenging times when it comes to purchasing equipment due to budget restraints and new procurement procedures, the dangers of procuring equipment/PPE which is not “Fit for Purpose” are all too real.
There is no doubt that we are witnessing an increase in “Cheapest Price Wins” syndrome, which in one sense is understandable given the current economic climate, however a number of concerns have been raised regarding inferior equipment/PPE that is finding its way into one of the most demanding of environments – Professional Rescue.
Recently we have been contacted from concerned individuals and organisations where equipment/PPE has been procured, and although looking the part they have found out that it isn’t”Fit for Purpose” and in some cases it has questionable or no official certification, which to the untrained eye and those with limited experience is easy to miss. It is interesting to note that the HSE are introducing tighter controls on PPE and equipment to try and reduce the level of poor or substandard product that is finding its way onto the market.
We have also received information regarding some suppliers who have misled regarding certification and indeed specifications in order to gain an unfair advantage in securing business. In our view this shows a total disregard for the safety of those who are wearing or using the equipment. At Safequip we have many years experience in the safety equipment market and pride ourselves in providing accurate product and application information, which we believe is paramount in not only ensuring the safety of rescue personnel but also the casualties being rescued. Unfortunately there are those in the industry who appear to have no scruples when selling lifesaving equipment/PPE into the professional rescue market, which is potentially putting lives at risk, this MUST not be ignored?
Interestingly “Due diligence” is a term we often hear spoken about, but all too often is not applied when procuring equipment/PPE. It would be our advice and the advice of many other reputable suppliers/manufacturers to exercise due diligence and hold suppliers to account where misleading or inaccurate information has been provided.
Finally the procurement of equipment/PPE is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly, as the repercussions of poor equipment selection can have severe. consequences. So please make every effort to ensure the validity of the information you are been given and if in doubt then speak to some independent body or individual who can provide reliable advice and experience, or alternatively why not “Try before you Buy” so that a comprehensive evaluation can be organised.