PPE Regulation Update

Dickies PPE Regulation header

As a leading supplier of high performance Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Dickies has been protecting workers across the world for over 90 years.
Our range of safety equipment is researched, designed and engineered by industry innovators to ensure peace of mind by meeting and exceeding international safety standards.
The original PPE Directive is now over 20 years old and to reflect current technologies and processes for developing and bringing PPE to the market the current PPE directive has been superseded by the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425.
Dickies has a legal obligation to comply with the new PPE Regulation, now in force, taking full effect from 21 April 2019. PPE placed on the market between the 21st April 2018 and 21st April 2019 can comply with ether the PPE Directive or new PPE Regulation.

The History of the PPE Directive

The British Standards Institution (BSI) report that the PPE Directive was first adopted by the European Council on 21 December 1989.Dickies CE Label

It was implemented into UK law as the Personal Protective Equipment (EC Directive) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/3139) and known as the ‘Principal Regulations’. These Regulations were made on 10 December 1992 and came into effect on 01 January 1993.

As the need for standardisation grew across Europe, EN standards started to be written. These standards are known as Harmonised Standards and are listed in a document called the Official Journal (OJ) which is available online at: www.eur-lex.europa.eu. European EN (European Norm) specifications can be recognised by the CE marking in PPE products.


Why is the PPE Directive Changing?

The original PPE Directive Directives and is now over 20 years old. In order to reflect current technologies and processes for developing and bringing PPE to the market, it need has been updated.

As well as reflecting new technology, the new Regulation has been shaped to enhance consumer safety and ensure fair competition between companies.

What are the Main Changes?

The PPE Directive outlines targets for European countries to achieve. The changes involve reclassifying these targets as a Regulation makes them legally binding (applied and enforced across the European Union). The main changes include;

  1. SCOPE - What is and is not included and required to comply E.g. oven gloves are now categorised as PPE.
  2. OBLIGATIONS - Importers and distributors have increased responsibilities with the new regulation, ensuring compliance throughout the entire supply chain. Manufacturers, importers and distributors are now known as economic operators.
  3. REFERENCING - Articles 10, 11a and 11b change to modules B, C2 and D.
  4. CATEGORIES -PPE categories are better defined, with some items of PPE changing category E.g. Ear defenders moving from Class II to Class III.
  5. DECLARATION OF CONFORMITY - An EC DoC (or website link) should accompany every item of PPE. The Dickies DoC can be found here
  6. VALIDITY - New EU type-examination certificates will have a 5-year maximum validity date.
  7. STANDARDS - All items of PPE must meet the latest version of the relevant standard.


Regulation Timescales

The regulation changes have been put into the below graphic to help understand when the changes take place.
Personal Protective Equipment (EC Directive) Regulations timeline
Dickies are aware of the existing certificates we hold, and when they will expire during the Regulation transition time period.
Our Distributors should be aware that parts of the Regulation will have direct implications on them and should ensure that the PPE they supply complies with the new Regulation

Further Information

A link to the EC guidance document on the PPE Regulation transition process BSI PPE Whitepaper: https://www.bsigroup.com/LocalFiles/en-GB/product-certification/ Personal-Safety/BSI-PPE-Whitepaper-UK-EN.pdf

Please contact your local sales representative and/or DickiesPPE@vfc.com if you have any additional questions or require any assistance.