The pandemic is ongoing but in the decline at this time. Risks remain however and not only the now obvious one of Covid 19. Unscrupulous  people are trying to take advantage of the crisis and sell face masks that are not to the standard that is claimed. The HSE have issued a safety alert for these items and companies and individuals need to check their supplies to ensure that they are of the correct standard to provide the protection needed. In another link the newsletter has picked up on the fact that the HSE have recommenced inspections of construction sites to check if arrangements to avoid the transmission of the virus are in place and are being maintained. An article published in Construction Manager magazine provides an insight into how the Principal Contractor, HGH Groundworks and Civil Engineering, planned work at their site and the range of issues that the HSE looked at. It’s a helpful reminder for all in construction that risks do need to be identified and managed effectively to protect workers and 3rd parties.

Quality Of KN95 Face Masks & The Lack Of Compliance With European Standards

(The below information has been taken from the HSE website)

The HSE have reported that a large amount of face masks claiming to be of KN95 standards provide an inadequate level of protection and are likely to be poor quality products accompanied by fake or fraudulent paperwork. These face masks may also be known as filtering facepiece respirators.

KN95 is a performance rating under the Chinese standard GB2626:2006, the requirements of which are broadly the same as the European standard BSEN149:2001+A1:2009 for FFP2 facemasks. However, there is no independent certification or assurance of their quality and products manufactured to KN95 rating are declared as compliant by the manufacturer. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) cannot be sold or supplied as PPE unless it is CE marked. The only exception is for PPE that is organised by the UK Government for use by NHS or other healthcare workers where assessments have been undertaken by HSE as the Market Surveillance Authority. 

Action Required

KN95 must not be used as PPE at work as their effectiveness cannot be assured.

Masks that are not CE marked and cannot be shown to be compliant must be removed from supply immediately. If these masks have not been through the necessary safety assessments, their effectiveness in controlling risks to health cannot be assured for anyone buying or using them. They are unlikely to provide the protection expected or required.

If any are CE marked, suppliers must be able to demonstrate how they know the documentation and CE marking is genuine, supported by Notified Body documentation showing compliance with the essential health and safety requirements as required by the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (EU) 2016/425.

Please use this link which will take you directly to the HSE website for more information on the Use Of Face Masks Designated KN95. 


Please see the below link to the article from the construction manager magazine for more details
around the unannounced visit made to HGH Groundworks and Civil Engineering last week.


Can BSA Help you?

Click on our website link below to see how we might be able to help you return to work safely!

Keep Well & Safe,
Bernard Sims Associates