Experience dictates that many questions tend to arise when new or revised PPE regulations are published: what changes are there? How will I or my business be affected? What deadlines are there and what will it all cost in the end? When it comes to hearing protection and the new regulation (EU) 2016/425, we can give the all-clear: first and foremost, it is manufacturers who must rise to this challenge.

The new PPE regulation will replace the current directive 89/686/EEC effective 21 April 2018. From then on, certification will only be in accordance with the new regulation. However, products complying with the “old” EEC directive may still be placed on the market until March 2019.

The most important change: in the new regulation, harmful noise is officially recognised as an irreversible health risk, consequently falling under risk category III: what effect will this have? Will people who use hearing protection or health and safety officers need to prepare for this change? What do you need to bear in mind?

High risk area: Image by Howard Lake, distributed under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0): https://www.flickr.com/photos/howardlake/5939827914

We can put your mind at ease

This revision will mainly affect PPE manufacturers. They will have to undergo stricter and more frequent quality checks in order to guarantee both quality control and sustainable quality assurance. Additionally, the new CE marking and the protective effect must be indicated on all products (where possible) and on the product packaging.

What does this mean for people who use hearing protection and health and safety officers?

Every employee must take health and safety seriously: this is nothing new, it has always been this way.

Risk category III includes exclusively the risks that may cause very serious consequences such as death or irreversible damage to health*. Assigning noise to this category leaves affected employees in no doubt as to just how important protection against harmful noise is.

Health and safety officers must take particular care to only acquire hearing protection products from manufacturers that comply with the conditions of the new PPE regulation once it enters into force.

How will uvex handle this change?

For uvex, quality control and quality assurance are of utmost importance, irrespective of the new PPE regulation. Our products are manufactured using high-quality materials and rigorous precision so that we can offer optimum protection. In addition to this, we have already been dealing in depth with these changes for quite some time so that we can guarantee a smooth transition in the interim.

Timeframe in wich the new PPE regulation replaces the old PPE directive

Do you still have questions about the new regulation? In this case you might want to check the EU site holding all official localised versions of the regulation – or the site of the PPE department of the DGUV. Pease feel also invited to use the comment section below or just send your questions via email to expertenblog@uvex.de.

* Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment and repealing Council Directive 89/686/EEC

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