To the Personal Protective Equipment legislation
On 9th March 2016, the European Parliament passed the Personal Protective Equipment Regulation 2016/425.
The new Regulation comes into force on 21st April 2018. It replaces the Personal Protective Equipment Directive 89/686/EEC, which is repealed.
From a technical perspective, there is little change. Manufacturers will continue to use European Standards in order to satisfy the Health and Safety Requirements of the Regulation.
Existing EC type-examination certificates, issued under the PPE Directive, will remain valid until 21 April 2023 (unless they have an earlier expiry date), after which manufacturers will be required to re-certify their products in accordance with the Regulation. Manufacturers will also be required to recertify existing products to new Regulation if:
- The Health and Safety Requirements of the Regulation which apply to the product are higher than those under the Directive;
- The design and/or manufacture of the PPE has changed since it was last certified;
- The generally acknowledged state of the art which is reflected by European harmonised standards has changed (updated versions with significant changes on safety clauses, withdrawal of current versions, etc.) and therefore it may imply that the product may not be compliant.
The authorities responsible for surveillance and enforcement of the Regulation will be provided with additional powers. Indications are that the authorities in some Member States are already stepping-up their activities, in preparation for April 2018.
One major change is the decision by the European Parliament to categorise all protective clothing and equipment for use by motorcyclists as Personal Protective Equipment.
Previously, motorcycle clothing manufacturers had been responsible for stating whether their products are or are not PPE, following an agreement forged at a high-level meeting, in 1994, between representatives of industry and senior civil servants at the European Commission. That agreement was widely abused however, with even major brands ignoring their responsibilities to test and certify their products, so the new mandatory classification is considered by some observers as a response intended to bring the motorcycle clothing industry into line.