What is Tukes’ role in guidelines and monitoring related to masks and RPE?
In a pandemic such as the coronavirus, the duties and procedures to be followed are those specified in the National Preparedness Plan for an Influenza Pandemic (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health publication 2012:9) In duties related to public communication, the plan emphasises the role of the Ministry and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. Tukes does not issue guidelines or monitor the use of masks or RPE.
Tukes is the market surveillance authority for general consumer goods and personal protective equipment intended for consumers. As a market surveillance authority, Tukes carries out spot checks to ensure the conformity of products and obligates companies to take the necessary measures if their products do not conform to safety requirements. For more information on case handling and market surveillance by Tukes, see the webpage (in Finnish).
Tukes also actively guides and instructs companies in meeting their legal obligations on product safety and ensuring that their products conform to legal requirements. Information on respiratory protective equipment and other masks is available here (in Finnish) For more information on requirements, see the Tukes webpages on PPE, general consumer goods and the CE marking.
There are also RPE products and face masks intended for professional use available on the market, such as companies’ employees and healthcare personnel. The market surveillance of PPE intended for professional use is the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and regional occupational safety and health authorities. The Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) is the competent authority for PPE classified as medical devices.