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 maintain 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) is the exception in that it has gone through three revisions;
inXXXX 2010 and 2014 (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, has been undergoing its first revision. Radical and controversial changes have been proposed to this standard, many of them motivated by the impact of the legislative changes on Personal Protective Equipment. These have been incorporated in the draft European Standard prEN 17092 and include significantly reducing the areas of enhanced abrasion protection and introducing a new impact abrasion test, using an updated version of the Darmstadt machine which was originally proposed – and rejected – for the first version of the standard.
With limited time to respond to the introduction of the PPE Regulation, manufacturers whose product development programmes are seldom shorter than two years find themselves in a situation where they need to have products certified by 21st April 2018, when the revised standard might not be available until after that date.
The draft European Standard prEN 17092 therefore takes 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. This is understandable, given the fast-approaching legislative deadline, as it will enable manufacturers to label garments mid-production, but it also creates the situation whereby the revised standard, in its present draft form, is considered to be significantly lower in severity than the document it is to replace.
There are several steps still to go before the proposed revision to the European Standard for motorcyclists’ protective clothing can be finalised. Contact the PVA-PPE Group for details of the prevailing situation.