1 HSE online, European Standards and Markings for protective clothing, Appendix 7 (United Kingdom, HSE, 2013.


For Information relating to EU ATEX directives (potentially explosive atmospheres) please see Annexe 7. For a summary of the European standards for protective clothing refer to Appendix 7 from British Standards1.


These are the standards, such as British Standards (prefi xed BS ), Deutsche Industrie Norms (prefi xed DIN ) or Norme Française NF , that prevail in individual countries. Increasingly, they are being superseded by their European equivalents, in which case they are

referred to as BS-EN or BS-EN etc.). Similarly, a standard bearing the prefi x BS-EN-ISO refers to a standard containing the same core information in all cases and which has been adopted across all three territorial boundaries - a truly international standard.


As we have seen, and despite their limitations, legislated standards are a powerful means of ensuring wholesale compliance with minimum levels of safety, quality and uniformity. However, commercially astute, customer-focused businesses will always endeavour

to aspire to technical specifi cations, ethical behaviour and levels of customer support that are far in excess of any legal minima. In this way they can differentiate themselves from the only-just-good-enough suppliers and demonstrate their superiority.


CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) is the European Committee for Standardization and is the non- profi t body offi cially vested by the EU to develop cross-border EN standards and specifi cations.

It operates alongside the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to promote and deliver harmonised standards.


An EN standard is essentially a regional Standard. Increasingly, however, European Standards (prefi xed EN European Norm) are being superseded, subsumed or harmonised with International Standards (prefi xed ISO). ISO is the International Organization for

Standardization which works to develop and translate standards at an international level. There is much co-operation and mutual adoption between ISO and the EU and mutually adopted standards bear the prefi x EN-ISO .


EU directives such as Council Directive 89/686/EEC1 governing personal protective equipment that is placed on the market, are required to be embraced by member EU and EEC member companies and enshrined in national law. Such legislation is designed to facilitate the free movement of goods within the Community and ensure that certain basic health and safety requirements are met to protect the end-user (the essential requirements ).

The general scope of EU Directives such as this tends to be wide in nature and in the case of 89/686/EEC ranges from clothing and respiratory protective masks to safety footwear and fall arrest equipment. There are only a very few exclusions to this Directive and these generally relate to specialised equipment already covered by EU legislation.

Annexe 146