Wearwell is urging employers across many industries — including health, beauty, automotive, construction, catering, utilities, and warehousing — to maintain existing EU standards for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace, even after Britain’s planned withdrawal from the European Union later this year.
The British Standards Institute (BSI), which is the national body responsible for publishing European standards in the UK, has confirmed that while the organisation is hopeful that existing EU standards will remain valid following a ‘hard’ Brexit, there is still a great deal of uncertainty in this area. This uncertainty could result in a period of instability in workplace processes and procedures, as well as in the adoption and adherence to health and safety best practices.
Regardless of whether EU standards remain valid in the UK in a post-Brexit economy, employers are advised that a responsibility to ensure safe working environments for their employees will remain. It is essential that British industries continue to adhere to existing standards in order to ensure full compliance and consistency in employee health, wellbeing, and overall safety at work.
“Wearwell was founded way back in 1939” says CEO Richard Wright. “We were around to see the changes and tighter regulations that were introduced when we joined the Union, and we fully believe that these standards have been instrumental in not only improving but also maintaining workplace safety.
“Whilst we don’t know what’s going to happen, our concern is that the post-Brexit transition period especially will create a high degree of uncertainty when it comes to what is — and what isn’t — required in terms of workplace PPE, and could even leave some employees at risk of accident or injury”.
Wearwell has long been committed to achieving EU standards, meeting criteria for many standards relating to workwear and safety wear performance requirements such as EN ISO 11611, EN ISO 11612, EN ISO 1149-3-5, and EN ISO 13034. These are all internationally-recognised standards created by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and adopted at regional level by the European Union.
Recently, the PPE experts introduced a new range of workwear, Tecwear, manufactured in accordance with the EU’s Article 11b regulation. Under Article 11b of the European Union’s PPE Directive 89/686/EEC, personal protective equipment must be manufactured using quality, regulated systems and processes. The company confirms plans to maintain adherence to these European standards in a post-Brexit economy.