Is your PPE ethical?
Over the last few months as businesses and governments across the globe scrambled to secure PPE for workers and healthcare professionals, where and how these essential items are produced took a back seat as the demand for any type of PPE far outstripped supply.
Now that the mad rush to secure PPE has come to an end, several lessons have been learnt by individual companies and the UK government, which fell foul of poor-quality products, overordering and failing to secure a fair price to keep the general population as safe as possible given the circumstances.
Now, more emphasis is being placed on the ethical nature of PPE, where it comes from and the relevant standards that it adheres to in order to guarantee that it is fit for purpose. As a result, more and more organisations are taking an objective look at the suppliers they use moving forward.
This subject has recently been in the media as the maker of gloves used by the NHS and other healthcare providers has been revealed to be under investigations following allegations of labour abuse towards overseas workers. The firm stands accused of modern slavery regarding its Malaysian workforce, with many workers forced to live in squalid and cramped shipping containers surrounded by consignments of PPE.
Here are a few ways to ensure that your PPE is ethical, responsibly sourced and meets all current UK standards.
Buy British where possible
Knowing where your PPE comes from is a start when it comes to ethical sourcing, but by purchasing your PPE from British manufacturers, you are also investing in our economic recovery and helping people to secure paid employment, safeguarded by legislation.
Insist on standards and quality marks
Before placing an order for PPE, make sure that you see proof that all items meet stringent quality standards and adhere to current UK law.
Not only will this guarantee that your PPE will be fit for purpose and reduce waste, but it is also a good indication that the supplier is committed to quality production and control processes.
Query how raw materials are sourced
The most progressive PPE manufacturers recognise the importance of sustainability in all areas of their business, so don’t be afraid to question where and how their raw materials are sourced.
As one of the oldest British manufacturers of workwear, Wearwell is committed to producing the highest quality garments and adheres to the toughest quality control standards. Our blog post here also outlines the technical standards you should look out for when sourcing PPE.