CE Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment Directive, 89/686/EEC, defines PPE as “any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards.”
PPE shall also cover:
- a unit constituted by several devices or appliances which have been integrally combined by the manufacturer for the protection of an individual against one or more potentially simultaneous risks.
- a protective device or appliance combined, separably or inseparably, with personal non-protective equipment worn or held by an individual for the execution of a specific activity.
- interchangeable PPE components which are essential to its satisfactory functioning and used exclusively for such equipment.
PPE directive does not apply to:
- PPE covered by another directive designed to achieve the same objectives as this Directive regarding placing on the market, free movement of goods and safety,
the PPE classes specified in the list of excluded products in Annex I, independently of the reason for exclusion mentioned in the first indent.
PPE are categorized into three different levels according to the level of risk and protection. We have distinguished these categories by using roman numerals I, II and III, simply for our convenience.
Category I – Simple PPE
- mechanical action whose effects are superficial (gardening gloves, thimbles, etc.),
- cleaning materials of weak action and easily reversible effects (gloves affording protection against diluted detergent solutions, etc.),
- risks encountered in the handling of hot components which do not expose the user to a temperature exceeding 50 gC or to dangerous impacts (gloves, aprons for professional use, etc.),
- atmospheric agents of a neither exceptional nor extreme nature (headgear, seasonal clothing, footwear, etc.),
- minor impacts and vibrations which do not affect vital areas of the body and whose effects cannot cause irreversible lesions (light anti-scalping helmets, gloves, light footwear, etc.),
- sunlight (sunglasses).
Category III – Complexed PPE (Protection from danger)
- filtering respiratory devices for protection against solid and liquid aerosols or irritant, dangerous, toxic, or radiotoxic gases,
- respiratory protection devices providing full insulation from the atmosphere, including those for use in diving,
- PPE providing only limited protection against chemical attack or against ionizing radiation,
- emergency equipment for use in high-temperature environments the effects of which are comparable to those of an air temperature of 100 gC or more and which may or may not be characterized by the presence of infra-red radiation, flames, or the projection of large amounts of molten material,
- emergency equipment for use in low-temperature environments the effects of which are comparable to those of an air temperature of 50 gC or less,
- PPE to protect against falls from a height,
- PPE against electrical risks and dangerous voltages or that used as insulation in high-tension work,
- motorcycle helmets and visors.
Category II – Others
- PPEs not categorized as simple nor complexed PPE.
To CE mark the device, the manufacturer shall satisfy conformity assessment procedure as below:
- A manufacturer shall take all steps necessary to ensure that the manufacturing process, including the final inspection of PPE and tests, ensures the homogeneity of production and the conformity of PPE with the type described in the EC type-approval certificate and with the relevant basic requirements of this Directive.
Category II and III
- A body of which notification has been given, chosen by a manufacturer, shall carry out the necessary checks. Those checks shall be carried out at random, normally at intervals of at least one year.