PPE Regulations

Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

Regulation 4(1)-
Every employer shall ensure that suitable PPE is provided to his employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work except where and to the extent that such risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective

It introduces the concept of use of PPE as a “last resort” measure.

  1. PPE doesn’t control the risk at source
  2. PPE only protects the wearer

Therefore other means of protection should also be used where “reasonably practical”

A short guide is available here

It can be purchased here.

CE Marks, Norms and Regulations
Where PPE is required there are Directives, Norms and Regulations which apply:

European Directives
Two EC mandatory directives regulate PPE which must be transposed into national law by all European Union member countries.

1) European directive on PPE - 89/686 EEC
Is the mandatory directive (colloquially called the “Product Directive”) that applies to manufacturing of protective clothing defines the “essential” requirements that a PPE product shall meet before it can be put onto the market, i.e. distributed or used. More than 150 harmonised EN standards have been developed by

CEN/CENELEC is a basis for checking whether a specific item of PPE complies with these essential requirements. Requirements above the minimum performance for CE certification may be specified by users with respect to specific particular hazards or other considerations.   Achieved CE certification, as indication by the CE mark on the product, tells the end user that the PPE fulfils the essential requirements that have been defined for protection against certain hazards in certain uses as well as appropriate ergonomics, innocuousness and sizing.


2) European directive on the use of PPE - 89/656 EEC
Is the mandatory European directive (colloquially called the “User Directive”) that applies for End Users of protective clothing. It sets the obligations and regulates the measures that need to be taken by employers and employees to maintain and improve the safety and health of workers in every aspect related to their work. The directive regulates about risk assessment, the need for preventive measures, training and information, and stipulates that Personal Protective Equipment has to be provided free of charge by the employer. It considers ‘the improvement of workers’ safety, hygiene and health at work to be an objective which shall
not be subordinated to purely economic considerations.