Understanding Changes in PPE Legislation

Posted on 23 May, 2018

Understanding Changes in PPE Legislation

With the introduction of the new PPE Directive, we recently caught up with Mick Spencer, Quality Assurance & Production Manager at Dimensions to find out what this means for businesses.

We understand that the old PPE Directive 89/686/EEC has been repealed and replaced with a new Regulation 2016/425, please tell us more about the change.

The new regulation is one of the most significant changes to the rules surrounding PPE in over 20 years. The change from a ‘Directive’ to a ‘Regulation’ is a substantial alternation as a regulation is a binding legislative act that sets out an objective that all EU countries must achieve by a given date.

Why has the Directive changed?

The changes have been made to improve ownership within the supply chain which will drive suppliers to keep up-to-date with current technology, processes for development and production techniques. The new regulation also enhances consumer safety and ensures fair competition between companies.

What does this mean to our customers?

It’s important to note that whilst employers do have duties concerning the provision and use of personal protective equipment at work, PPE should only be used as a last resort. Making the workplace safe is the first priority which includes providing instructions, procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.

However, should personal protective equipment be a requirement, our customers can have peace of mind that all the necessary steps are being taken to assure all our items of PPE will be in conformance with the new regulation. This will provide the confidence that our customers are investing in a product that will protect their greatest asset: their workforce.

What does this mean to Dimensions?

We currently have a comprehensive register of all the PPE we supply. Due to the change in legislation we have taken the opportunity to create a dedicated system for coding and traceability of PPE.

We are working with our manufacturing base and our notified body, currently SATRA, to ensure that all products will be manufactured in conformance to the new regulation and timeline. We are also working closely with our inspection partner, SGS, for ongoing surveillance of PPE within our supply chain.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to our customers?

The most important piece of advice I can give to our customers is that they need to make sure that they buy their PPE from a reliable, fully compliant supplier.