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What Start-Up’s Should Know About Personal Protective Equipment


What Start-Up’s Should Know About Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment is something that every business owner will know about. Last year, the PPE Directive 89/686/EEC was replaced by the Regulation 2016/425 in a bid to improve health and safety at work.

Today, businesses are wondering how this change will impact their operations. Opposed to the former directive, the new regulation is a binding legislative act that must be applied in its entirety across the EU without requiring separate national legislation.

Technology is set to advance even further in 2019, so businesses must be prepared for the changes that come with it – acknowledging how it has influenced equipment and workwear in the past. Because of this, changes were required and expected to occur around PPE after it first came into action over two decades ago.

The PPE Directive was once for manufacturers who placed products on the market. However, this new regulation that was put into action on 21stApril 2018 will involve the entire supply chain. As a result, anyone who is part of the supply or distribution chain must abide by PPE and meet the standard requirements that have been set out — while also having an understanding that only products that meet the standards will be made available on the market.


  • Making sure PPE complies with the essential health and safety requirements.
  • Making sure technical documentation has be drawn up.
  • When compliance has been demonstrated the EU declaration of conformity has been drawn up and a CE mark affixed.
  • Retention of documents for ten years.
  • Sample testing.
  • Duty to take action in relation to non-conforming PPE.
  • Labelling requirements.
  • Providing instructions and cooperating with the national authority.

Despite what many people think, the former Directive and current Regulation both apply today, as the transition period doesn’t come into force until 21stApril 2019. However, any EC type-examination certificates and approvals issued under the Directive will remain valid until the 21stApril 2023 unless they have an earlier expiry date.

An insight to the three categories of PPE:

  • Category I (simple design) –where workers assess the level of protection needed against minimal risks. This could include the use of garden gloves, footwear or ski goggles for example.
  • Category II (neither simple or complex) –clothing within this category do not fall in either Category I or Category III and can include the likes of dry and wet suits.
  • Category III (complex design) –any item that falls under this section is complex in design and is intended to protect workers against mortal dangers and any irreversible harm that could impact a person’s health. To give you an idea, this could potentially include harnesses and respiratory equipment.

Complying with PPE in 2019

Although you’ll have aims to implement PPE requirements across your business, staff members might show some resilience. Figures have suggested that 98% of employees have seen colleagues not wearing PPE when they were supposed to, with a further 30% saying this happens on a regular basis. Excuses varied as to why employees were not wearing the appropriate workwear with some suggesting that it looked unattractive, made them too hot, was a poor fit and was not very practical which should most definitely not be the case for such corporate workwear.

There are many statistics that highlight the importance of PPE. Did you know that 9% of all injuries are head injuries because 84% of such occurrences have not been wearing the proper headwear?  Or that 50% of construction workers experience a serious injury during their career? If workers wore proper safety eyewear, injury could be reduced by up to 90%.

Believe it or not, 25% of all workplace injuries were to the hands — if gloves were worn, this figure could have been reduced by 60%. 25% of employees are exposed to noise that are higher than the recommended level too, but such damage can be reduced 99% by wearing the right type of hearing protection.

How will you implement your PPE strategies for 2019? This article was produced by company uniforms supplier, Dimensions.




I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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