HSE Safety Alert Against KN95 facemasks
On 11th June 2020 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced a safety alert that ourselves and fellow face fit testing companies hoped for - urging all employers and suppliers not to purchase or use KN95 facemasks as PPE.
See the full alert here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/use-of-face-masks-designated-kn95.htm?utm_source=press.hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=kn95-safety-alert&utm_content=press-release
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a severe shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and in particular RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment).
Initially this shortage had a major affect on the many hospitals and NHS keyworkers who struggled to source adequate protection against coronavirus. Now, in addition to this, the affects of these shortages are being felt by dentists and many other professions who until now, have never had to consider the use of RPE in their day to day work.
Sadly, the shortage of RPE gave rise to an influx of non-compliant products flooding our market and even finding their way into trusted supply chains. This included our own suppliers (who previously didn't even sell RPE related products) who regularly sent out emails and mailshots advertising masks that would protect against coronavirus. The shocking reality was that the masks that they were selling did not offer the level of protection they claimed and sadly were not even compliant to sell in this country.
The move by the HSE regarding the use of KN95 masks was a welcome one and one which hopefully now means, that unsuspecting people will not be duped into purchasing these masks, when the best they could be used for is a simple face covering.
We worked relentlessly day and night with dentists and NHS workers checking ream after ream of counterfeit paperwork - and don't get me wrong, some of it was very convincing. Sadly, in spite of our best efforts, some of our customers still fell foul of the sales tactics of some of these companies claiming to sell products that actually were not what said.
The most shocking example was a company selling surgical masks as offering FFP2 protection. This is simply not possible. Surgical masks are not rated for FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3.
We are lucky enough in our day to day profession as a face fit testing company, to work with some of the UK's leading manufacturers of RPE. It is for this reason that we chose to offer our customers an online shop where they can be confident that everything we sell is compliant, trusted and tested stock. All RPE that we sell comes with the EU Declaration of Conformity and we are transparent about what we sell.
Sadly, with stocks of masks being in high demand and supplies very limited the cost of the products have been driven up as some stock has had to be air freighted into the country. This means that some air freighted stock will be higher than pre-covid prices, however we can guarantee that our profit margins are realistic, not over inflated and prices set to the best price we can afford to offer.
If you think you have been unlucky enough to purchase counterfeit stock and would like to check the authenticity we would recommend visiting our sister company (Training & Testing Services) where we have information on how to check documentation.
Stay safe and most importantly stay complaint by buying from trusted sellers.