CHANGES TO THE EUROPEAN STANDARDS
For motorcyclist's protective clothing
Standards ordinarily undergo review and, if circumstances require, revision, every five years. This enables the documents to represent “the state of the art” by maintaining pace with, for example, changes in risk and advances in materials and manufacturing technology.
Since the first versions of the European Standards for motorcyclists’ protective clothing and equipment were published, they have also been through the revision process, although generally at in excess of the normal, five-year period.
- EN 1621-1:1997 (limb impact protectors) was revised and reissued as EN 1621-1:2012
- EN 1621-2:2003 (back protectors) was revised and reissued as EN 1621-2:2014
- EN 13594:2002 (gloves) is now available as EN 13594:2015
- EN 13634:2002 (footwear) has gone through three revisions; in 2010, 2014 and 2017 (this standard is administered by the protective footwear standards committee, rather than the committee responsible for motorcycle clothing)
- EN 1621-4:2013 is not yet due for revision, although an amendment might be issued, and EN 1621-3 (chest protectors) is yet to be published for the first time
The standard for protective clothing (jackets, trousers and one-piece or divided suits) – EN 13595, Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 – first published in 2002, will continue as a current standard until at least 2023, when the expectation is that it will be merged with the draft (at time of writing) European Standard prEN 17092. EN 13595 sets much higher performance requirements than prEN 17092, and the two documents vary widely in many aspects, which it was considered rendered it impossible to combine into one document at the time. The two documents will therefore run side-by-side for a period.
With limited time to respond to the introduction of the PPE Regulation, manufacturers whose product development programmes are seldom shorter than two years found themselves in a situation where they needed to have products certified by 21st April 2018, when the revised standard would not be available until after that date.
The draft European Standard prEN 17092 therefore took on the appearance of a document based on the test performance garments currently in development can achieve – a “rubber stamp standard” – rather than a set of requirements to which those garments should aspire (as represented by EN 13595). This is understandable, given the fast-approaching legislative deadline, as it was expected to enable manufacturers to label garments mid-production.
There are several steps still to go before the proposed European Standard prEN 17092 can be finalised. Contact the PVA-PPE Group for details of the prevailing situation.