Personal Protective Equipment (EU)

Existing PPE Directive 89/686/EEC covers the manufacture and marketing of personal protective equipment. It defines legal obligations to ensure that PPE on the European market provides the highest level of protection against hazards. The CE marking affixed to PPE provides evidence of this protection. Manufacturers or their authorised representative in the EU comply with the technical requirements directly or with European Harmonised Standards. The latter provides a presumption of conformity to the essential health and safety requirements.

Applicable 21 April 2018, Directive 89/686/EEC is repealed by the new Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment – here.

The new PPE Regulation is aligned to the EU’s New Legislative Framework policy. In addition, it slightly modifies the scope (enlarged to include PPE designed and manufactured for private use to protect against heat) and the risk categorisation of products. It also clarifies the documentary obligations of economic operators.

As a European Regulation (not a Directive) it is directly binding on a Member State (and on operators marketing to a Member State) without enactment of national law (although national law may be additionally enacted).

Brexit : PPE is covered by the EU Notice on Industrial Goods here. (I have posted a number of times with links to EU Notices)

Brexit in the UK, this new EU PPE Regulation applies from 21 April 2018, after Brexit it applies via the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. NB: the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is not yet enacted.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists will be sent an Email Alert of the addition of this new EU Regulation to the PPE Register and Checklist component in their websystems.

Asbestos Protective Clothing Fine

Asbestos protective clothing safety failings has resulted in a fine for the site supervisor of a specialist asbestos contractor, after he ignored the company’s procedures on working with asbestos and broke the law.

Speaking after the hearing, the inspector from Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said:

“Asbestos is responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK every year but it only becomes dangerous when it is broken up and fibres are released into the air. That’s why asbestos can only be removed by specialist contractors but, the site supervisor put workers at risk by not following the correct safety procedures. He simply should never have allowed three men to go into a contaminated area while wearing their own clothes, and without the correct protective clothing and respiratory masks. Workers, their families and anyone else who came into contact with them would have been put at risk as a result of his decision to allow the men to wear lace-up boots and the clothes they intended to go home in. Thankfully, we were able to stop the work and make sure the clothes were disposed of as contaminated waste.”

Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work.”

Here is the HSE press release on the matter.