Within the regulations, the term (Personal Protection Equipment) signifies "any device or means intended to be worn or held by a person to protect them from one or more risks likely to threaten their health or their safety in the workplace, and any addition or accessory intended for this purpose".

European regulation 2016/425 mainly determines:

  • the responsibilities of economic operators in relation to PPE,
  • the procedures for evaluating compliance, the requirements of which must be met by the PPE to benefit from free circulation within the European Union.

PPE Categorisation:

Type I PPE: Minor risks  (intended to protect against superficial injuries). The manufacturer does a CE self-certification according to module A. He declares that, when new, the PPE conforms to the requirements of the regulation. His personal responsibility is engaged. The product is then marked CE.

Type II PPE: Intermediate risks (intended to protect against mechanical, thermal and chemical risks) other than those under categories I and III. The manufacturer makes an application for an EU inspection according to module B, accompanied by the technical file of the PPE to a notified European laboratory, which proceeds with a series of tests and studies the file with a view to attributing an EU Type-Examination Certificate. Simultaneously, the manufacturer follows a production surveillance procedure according to module C

Type III PPE: Mortal danger (intended to protect against mortal danger or risks of irreversible health damage). The manufacturer has the choice for the surveillance of the manufacture of his product between a supervised surveillance of products at random intervals according to module C2, or the quality assurance system of the productionmethod according to module D. Previous to this he should have performed the same process for product certification according tomodule B as for intermediate risk PPEs (type II).

PPEs intended for protection against falls from heights all belong to Category III.

CE marking applies to all three categories.

Products certified in this way carry CE marking, followed, for category III, by the number of the notified body handling the quality control.

For every certified product, the manufacturer supplies user instructions providing his name and address, storage, use and maintenance instructions, a recommended use-by-date and the meaning of the markings.

All these specifications are stipulated in the "harmonised" EN standards that are liste here.