The revision to the PPE Directive is important too
23 January 2013
The safety industry is enduring an ongoing period of change, consolidation and uncertain economic development. Elements from the Loftstedt/Young Reports are being implemented, while the Prime Minister is adversely commenting on elements of the safety provision.
However, one of the most overlooked changes to affect the industry is the proposed revision of the PPE Directive. These changes will inevitably have a direct impact on the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they will see changes of PPE categories, the alignment of certain products for private and professional use and the probable changes of validity periods of CE certificates.
The BSIF agrees that the PPE Directive is in need of revision but this should be undertaken to create a beneficial outcome in terms of the product supplied, the costs of testing and the categories of products dependent upon their requirement to protect against hazards. For example, the BSIF has been lobbying for hard hats to be converted from a Category II to a Category III as they protect workers against imminent mortal risk.
This is an area that, as yet, has been overlooked by the revision of the Directive, while other items have been upgraded or could potentially be removed from the Directive. As an example, outdoor clothing to protect against adverse weathers may be deregulated. If a linesman was working up a pole in strong rain or cold, he would like to be properly protected and know the product will do 'what it says on the tin'. Having rain running down his back could cause sudden loss of concentration with serious consequences.
We are in a period of change. We need to make sure the changes are for the better and do not impact adversely on the lives of users of safety equipment.
The BSIF Chief Executive Officer.