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New Regulation to Replace PPE Directive

Construction Design and Management Regs

Draft text for a new PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulation has been approved by authorities in Europe, and is expected to become law in 2016, leading to member states adopting the legislation.

What is PPE?

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. In short PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work.

While the use of PPE has become commonplace in environments where risk is present, it should not be forgotten that risks should to be managed and eliminated as far as possible, before relying on PPE to control the risk.

Current Legal Position on PPE

The PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) Directive 89/686/EEC was adopted in 1989 by the European Council, and over 20 years little has changed since then, which technology and manufacturing techniques have progressed significantly.

In the UK, the principle Personal Protective Equipment (EC Directive) Regulations 1992 were adopted in 1993 and currently the PPE Regulations 2002 implement the requirements of the European Directive.

How it affects PPE Manufacturers

There are several changes within the regulations, with some PPE changing categories for example Hearing Protection & Life Jackets are expected to move to Category 3, from category 2.
Other domestic protective items, such as oven gloves, are also expected to come within the scope of the regulation.

The key issue for manufacturers is the expiration of their existing certificates. New and existing products will have to obtain EC Type Examination certificates to show conformity with the current standards.

Manufacturers should review their product lines and identify the current and new requirements for each item, and then ensure that they obtain the relevant EC Type Examination Certificate.
A transition period is expected to run until 2018.

How it affects those with Health & Safety Management Responsibilities.

If you are responsible for buying PPE, it’s important to verify that the distributers and manufacturers, you use are aware of how the changes affect them. The new regulations cover the whole supply chain, to ensure that any PPE placed on the market meet the current standards.

These regulations relate to the specifications of the PPE itself and do not inform when PPE should be provided for employees. Health & Safety Managers should look to the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992 and the associated HSE guidance which is available below.

Where to go for further PPE help.

As you might expect, BSI has taken a lead in preparing for the regulation changes, and have produced a white paper on the changes. Available on the link below.

As a Notified Body, they can carry out the required EC Type Examination Certification for various categories of PPE, and further to that their trusted Kitemark can test the outputs.

BSI PPE WhitePaper: … evision-uk

Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work – A brief guide: … NDG174REV2



Original Author:  Assent Risk Management

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