Respiratory Protective Equipment - Further sources of information

The United Kingdom Government, through the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), has issued guidance for the re-purposing of non-compliant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical devices

OPSS guidance states, where a product has been designed or manufactured as PPE or as a medical device and is found to be non-compliant, the business in the supply chain that owns the product, can now take on producer responsibility and repurpose the product to sell as a face covering during this time of Covid-19 pandemic.

Any business repurposing products to classify the product as a face covering must demonstrate it meets the requirements under the General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR).

The following must be adhered to:

  • All referencing on packaging and on the product of CE marking must be removed;
  • Any claims or references to meeting any PPE standards must be removed;
  • The product or any accompany packaging must carry no claims to offer protection from any particular risks;
  • No original paperwork, or certification must accompany the product; and
  • No forms of advertising or marketing must accompany the product.
    The business taking producer responsibility must be able to demonstrate that the product is a safe product and must add appropriate labelling to comply with the General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR).
    In Northern Ireland Local Councils are responsible for the enforcement of the General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR) 1995, and the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    For the purposes of clarity, this does not change any previous guidance, that Non-Compliant PPE CANNOT be used in the work place, as part of a risk controlled strategy.
    For further advice or guidance contact:
    Email: OPSS.enquires@BEIS.Gov.UK
    Telephone: 0121 3451201

Current Public Health England guidance in respect of the use of ‘facemasks’ is contained within the following:

Health and Safety Executive (GB)

The research conducted by HSE and PHE includes information on the equivalence of N95 and FFP2 masks. Findings suggest there is no material difference between the N95 respirator and the FFP2 disposable respirator. They provide comparable protection against coronavirus as long as the wearer has passed a face fit test.

The selection of appropriate PPE should be determined by local risk assessment and reference to PHE guidance:

Department of Health and Social Care

Includes guidance on who needs PPE and when, and who does not, based on UK clinical expertise and World Health Organisation standards.

Public Health England (PHE)


This includes guidance in the following settings:

  • Residential Homes
  • Supported living provision
  • Home care provision