PPE – Personal Protective Equipment

The new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulation became law on 21 April 2016.  There is a two year transition period until its full enforcement in April 2018.  The main changes put the onus on manufacturers to provide good quality equipment and provide the necessary information and certification, it is hoped that this will put an end to cheap inferior imports.
Categories for PPE have also been changed –

Category 1 – Simple PPE – To provide protection from minimal risks, including:

  • Superficial mechanical injury
  • Contact with water or cleaning materials of weak action
  • Contact with hot surfaces not exceeding 50ºC
  • Damage to the eyes due to exposure to sunlight
  • Atmospheric conditions that are not of an extreme nature

Category 2 – Intermediate PPE – To protect from risks not covered in Category 1 or Category 3. Examples of Category 2 products are:

  • Safety glasses and goggles
  • Industrial helmets and bump caps
  • High-visibility clothing

Category 3 – Complex PPE – To protect from risks that may cause death or irreversible damage to health, including:

  • Substances and mixtures that are hazardous to health
  • Atmospheres with oxygen deficiency
  • Ionising radiation
  • High temperature environments, comparable to those with air temperature of at least 100ºC
  • Low temperature environments, comparable to those with air temperature of -50ºC or less
  • Falling from a height
  • Electric shock and live working

The following risks have now been added to category 3:

  • Harmful biological agents
  • Drowning
  • Cuts by hand-held chainsaws
  • High-pressure jets
  • Bullet wounds or knife stabs
  • Harmful noise
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