PPE Regulation Update

On the 21st April 2018, Regulation (EU) 2016/425 on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will come into force and replace the old PPE Directive 89/686/EEC.

PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It includes items such as safety helmets, gloves, high-visibility clothing and eye/hearing protection.

Key Changes

  • The new regulation now applies to the whole supply chain rather than just the manufacturers. Everyone involved in the manufacture, supply and distribution of PPE must ensure it meets with the standard requirements.
  • Some types of protection have been moved from category 2 to category 3 – this includes all types of hearing protection against harmful noise which is designed to protect against very serious risk where the hazard is not immediately obvious. These items now require EU type examination and ongoing surveillance.
  • Type-examination certificates are to be valid for five years – certificates for category 2 and 3 items are to be time limited for a maximum of five years.
  • All PPE must be supplied with a declaration of conformity – a declaration of conformity is a document which the manufacturer signs to say that the product meets all the requirements of the applicable legislation.
  • Retention of documents for ten years.

Transitional Period

There is a transitional period of one year from 21st April 2018 to the 20th April 2019, where both the old directive and the new regulation are applicable.

How it affects users of PPE / Employers

The new regulation does not apply any duties directly to the end users of PPE.

Employers who are selecting and using PPE within their own organisation are covered by the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 which are unaltered by this regulation.

Those who source and purchase PPE for use within their own organisation should continue to select appropriate PPE which has been CE marked, and ensure your PPE providers are able to meet the requirements of the new regulation. Responsibility for proving product compliance falls to the manufacturer.

If you have concerns over the safety of the equipment you are purchasing you can ask suppliers the following:

  • For a declaration of conformity that shows original certification for the PPE you are purchasing.
  • To define their process for sample testing to ensure safety products continue to meet the required standards.
  • If they are members of the BSiF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme.
  • To define their process of quality assurance at the manufacturing facility to ensure the products are being manufactured as they were originally certified.

If you have any questions about the PPE Regulation update we are here to help. Do not hesitate to contact us on 01394 389683 or info@safetyboss.co.uk.


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