Overview of European PPE Regulations and Quality Indicators
Protecting workers properly is an obligation – the right protection can mean the difference between life and death.
As a decision maker, it is essential to be aware of PPE standards and how these apply. However, meeting the norm is often not enough. Garment quality, optimisation of performance and cost are also key variables. Unfortunately, the rapid increase of counterfeit products in the field of safety is a serious cause for concern as it puts the lives of workers dramatically at risk. Therefore due diligence is required when sourcing a supplier.
By law, wherever there may be risks to health and safety that can’t be controlled in other ways, PPE is required. This is stated in the EU PPE Users Directives (89/656) and respective national PPE legislations (for example the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 2002 in the UK). The responsibility for supply of such equipment falls on the employer or the self-employed worker.
The PPE Regulations also require that PPE is:
- properly assessed before use to make sure it is fit for purpose
- maintained and stored properly
- provided with instructions on how to use it safely
- used correctly by employees
In addition, all PPE purchased must be ‘CE’ marked. The CE marking denotes that the PPE complies with the relevant essential health and safety requirements of the PPE legislation (whether the current Directive 89/686 until 20 April 2019 or Regulation 2016/425 after 21 April 2018). When looking specifically at Category II and III PPE, the CE marking also indicates that the PPE has been tested and certified by an independent notified body.
Nomex®: a brand you can trust
DuPont is internationally renowned for the development of its high-quality, intelligent flame-resistant fibre, Nomex®, which is incorporated into fabric for protective clothing used by firefighters and industrial workers.
All Nomex® PPE is CE certified and either meets or often exceeds requirements stipulated by law, making Nomex® a trusted brand of choice.
Great lengths are taken to offer maximum protection to the wearer throughout the entire production process and supply chain. The DuPont network of suppliers and manufacturers is managed carefully to achieve the highest standards. In Europe, for example, the DuPont™ Nomex® Partner Program has been set up; a carefully-selected network of customer-oriented and progressive weavers and garment manufacturers whose fabrics and garments pass the rigorous quality controls of DuPont.
Garments available with Nomex®
There is a wide range of Nomex®-based garments available to offer workers the best protection including coveralls, trousers, jackets, bibs and braces, coats and shirts. Product availability may vary by region and supplier.