Definition of PPE

PPE shall mean any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards.

  • a unit constituted by several devices or appliances which have been integrally combined by the manufacturer for the protection of an individual against one or more potentially simultaneous risks
  • a protective device or appliance combined, separably or inseparably, with personal non-protective equipment worn or held by an individual for the execution of a specific activity
  • interchangeable PPE components which are essential to its satisfactory functioning and used exclusively for such equipment
  • any system placed on the market in conjunction with PPE for its connection to another external, additional device shall be regarded as an integral part of that equipment even if the system is not intended to be worn or held permanently by the user for the entire period of risk exposure 

Types of PPE

  • head protection
  • respiratory protection
  • eye and face protection
  • hearing protection
  • protective clothing including gloves
  • protective clothing against hand held chain saws
  • lifejackets
  • protective clothing for motor cycle riders
  • foot and leg protection

Directive 89/686/EEC

The Directive on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 89/686/EEC belongs to the family of directives under Article 95 of the EC Treaty. They harmonise products ensuring a high level of protection for citizens and free circulation throughout Europe. Safety and health are basic values. It is a must for PPE, the products having the unique feature to provide for protection against specific hazards, to meet this challenge: to ensure the user's safety and health in specific circumstances. The manufacturer informs about the type of hazards against which his product protects. The European Union initiated Directive 89/686/EEC in order to ensures equally safe products throughout the European Union.