What is the new (EU) 2016/425 PPE regulation?

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In this article we will discuss the new PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 and how it will affect the market of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The current regulation 89/686/EEG will be withdrawn the 21st of April 2018 and replaced with the (EU) 2016/425 regulation. This article addresses why these change occurs, what the consequences are of this change and how can it further improve safety?

The history behind this decision

As the process of standardization grew in the 80s, the need for a PPE standard was rising. Introduced in December 1989, the 89/686 EEG came into effect on the 1st of January 1993. Now, 25 years later, this regulation does not reflect the current technologies and processes for developing and marketing PPE and needs a required update. The new PPE regulation (EU) 2016/425 came into force 20 on the 21st of April 2016, 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. These 2 years cover a period in which manufacturers have plenty of time to prepare for the new regulation.

As a regulation is not a guideline, and therefore, member states of the European Union are obliged to adopt this regulation, which goes into effect on the 21st of April 2018.

What are the main changes in the new PPE regulation (EU) 2016 /425?

  • All PPE certificates get a validity period: a key change is the introduction of time-limited EC type-examination certificates. Under the Directive the EC type-approval certificate remained valid under the condition that the EC quality control system for the final product (Article 11A) or the EC quality of production has been annually verified and certified by a Notified Body (NoBo)*. With the new regulation, every 5 years the PPE needs to undergo a revalidation procedure in order to extend the certificate. Every EC-type-approval certificate of PPE according to the Directive will expire from the 21st of April 2023.
  • EC Declaration of Conformity: Manufactures have to provide a hard copy of the Declaration of Conformity or the website address where the declaration can be accessed to the end-user.
  • All PPE products will be tested according to the most current safety standards: XSPlatforms products are always tested and approved in compliance with the latest standards, but because of the introduction of the 5 year expiry date of certificates, now the market will be obliged to only place products in the market, which are tested and approved by the latest versions of standards as well.
  • If PPE does not comply with the (EU) 2016/425 regulation, manufacturers need to take care that these products have to be taken from the market or sent back to the manufacturer.
  • New products: From the 21st of April 2019, only PPE according to the Regulation may be placed on the market. Certified PPE conform the directive (or until the certificate has expired), can still be sold until the 21st of April 2023.

*A Notified Body is an organization, which is designated by an EU country to assess the conformity of certain products, before being placed on the market. A notified Body carries out the tasks that are related to conformity assessment procedures set out in the applicable legislation, when a third party is required”.

Exceptions

Because EN 795:2012 and CEN/TS 16415:2013 type A, C and D anchor do not fall under the scope of neither the European PPE Directive 89/686/EEC nor the Regulation (EU) 2016/425, with the Regulation come into force nothing changes for these types of anchors.

Our opinion about the new PPE regulation

From our point of view this is a very good development, because the regulation will apply directly in all European member states without transition into national legislation, which eliminates any confusion that may have been before. This will lead to better and more safe products on the market, and this is a good development for everyone.

For us, the new regulation does not come as a surprise. All our fall protection products (including PPE) are tested by the latest standards, have all the proper documentation included and are regularly tested to guarantee the highest quality.

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