The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive 89/686/EEC is now over 20 years old, and plans are in place to update it to reflect new technologies that have been employed in bringing PPE to the market.
To this end a draft version of the new Regulations was approved by the European Commission and Parliament at the end of the summer. It is now waiting for the final wording to be agreed by the European Council, likely to be at the end of 2015 or early 2016. The new Regulation is due to come into force in 2016, with a transition period taking place during 2016/2017, with full enforcement of the PPE Regulation by the end of 2018.
Some of the key changes of the new standard are likely to be:
- The new Regulation will be effective over the entire supply chain (not just manufacturers as per the previous PPE Directive) so anyone involved in the supply and distribution chain will have to take appropriate measures to ensure the PPE meets with the standard requirements.
- A number of types of protection will move from category 2 (intermediate) to category 3 (complex), for example hearing protection and life jackets.
- A requirement to supply a declaration of conformity with every item of PPE that is placed on the market.
- Introducing a five year certificate of validity to bring it in line with similar European requirements such as the Medical Devices Directive.
- The requirements will be reclassified as a PPE Regulation – a binding legislative act, which must be applied precisely across the EU.
Employers and safety managers who are responsible for the purchase of PPE need to ensure that their providers will be able to meet with the new Regulation to protect employees.
Alcumus will keep you up to date with the progress of this as changes are made public. Subscribers to our Sypol CMS COSHH management system will be able to ensure they are using the correct PPE via our PPE database which is linked to the risk assessment, and any assistance will be provided by our Helpdesk.