Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Directive EU/2016/425

PPE directive EU/2016/425 is applicable from April 21st 2018

Important dates:

Directive 89/686/EEC is repealed with effect from 21 April 2018.

EC type-examination certificates (Article 10) approved 89/686/EEC remain valid until 21 April 2023 unless they expire before that date.


The PPE Directive applies to any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards.
The regulations include:
• General requirements – ergonomics, levels and classes of protection, comfort and efficiency plus information supplied by the manufacturer.
• Additional requirements – e.g. ageing, field of view, risk of the PPE being caught up
• Additional requirements for particular risks – e.g. the harmful effects of noise, heat, radiation and dangerous substances.

There must be an EC Declaration of Conformity (DoC) for every product, follow the PPE link for further information.

The scope in the new directive has remained the same as the Directive 89/686/EEC with the following inclusions:

  • Interchangeable components which are essential for the protective function of the PPE.
  • Connexion systems for PPE that are not held or worn by a person, that are designed to connect that equipment to an external device or to a reliable anchorage point , that are not designed to be permanently fixed and that do not require fastening works before use.

Key changes

  • Clothing intended for private use with reflective or fluorescent elements included for reasons of design or decoration is not PPE and therefore is not covered by this Regulation.
  • Products for private use to protect against atmospheric conditions that are not of an extreme nature or to protect against damp and water are not covered (e.g., dishwashing gloves).
  • PPE for private use against heat, i.e., oven gloves are now covered and should be in line with similar products designed for professional use.
  • Products offering protection against the following have been moved from Category II to Category III PPE – drowning, cuts by hand-held chainsaws, high-pressure jets, bullet wounds or knife stabs and harmful noise. These items will need to be re-classified and include on-going surveillance.
  • A web link to the Declaration of Conformity must be given in conjunction with the PPE.
  • A five-year validity period for EU Type Certificates (this has changed from EC Type Certificates).
  • Details for the responsibilities for importers and distributors are given.
  • Bespoke PPE are now covered.