KN95 face mask prosecution highlights the need for caution when sourcing PPE

News that a company director has been prosecuted for selling substandard facemasks is a reminder that businesses should take care when sourcing PPE, says the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF).

In July 2022, Hull Cleaning Ltd and its Director, Mr Paul Scott-South, pleaded guilty to offences relating to the sale of KN95 masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. The convictions were secured under the PPE and Consumer Protection legislation. After much delay and debate, the case finally went for sentencing on the 24th of February, 2023.

At the sentencing hearing, Mr Scott-South was imprisoned for nine months and fined £5000 with £5000 costs. In sentencing, the judge made it clear how serious he considered the case and the potential risk to users of the company’s “useless” facemasks.

The BSIF supported Trading Standards in the prosecution, providing product testing from an “Approved” laboratory and advice and expert witness statements.

BSIF CEO Alan Murray comments: “This case highlights how easily substandard and defective PPE can find its way onto the market and what a serious concern that is.

“We are pleased to see that in this instance the company’s actions have resulted in prosecution but, as our latest non-member tests results show, there is still a large volume of non-compliant products for sale in the UK market which is being bought and used by unsuspecting customers.

“Once again, we urge all buyers and specifiers to review their current processes and consider what assurances they have that the PPE and safety equipment they are being supplied with is fit for purpose.

“Specifying a Registered Safety Supplier is the easiest way to ensure you only deal with compliant, competent and trustworthy suppliers.”

For a full list of Registered Safety Suppliers, visit: www.registeredsafetysupplierscheme.co.uk/

PCIAW Uniform Networks Buyer, Trusted member