IMPORTANT: If you are new to protective clothing and do not know exactly which garment(s) you need, or if you require further information on garment selection please read this section fi rst.

Faced with a huge array of potential hazards, a bewildering choice of protective clothing and the complexity of the certifi cation information, what criteria should be used to select the right protective clothing? This Selection Guide and the ensuing sections provide you with a summary of the European Standards for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and further information on which to base your decisions.

Workers can potentially be exposed to a multitude of workplace and environmental hazards. These include asbestos, dioxins, oils, lubricants, paints, blood and biological hazards, nuclear, phytosanitary products, organic chemicals, heat and fl ame risks and there are many different factors such as concentration, temperature, pressure that can have a signifi cant infl uence on the risks posed by these threats. In addition, the physical nature of these threats can take many forms including liquid, gaseous, fi ne dusts, solid particles, fi bres, sprays, aerosols, splashes and radioactive particles. Furthermore, in many workplace environments there are multiple protection requirements that need to be considered and, of course, every hazard environment and every exposed person is different. Which means that the choice of protective clothing has to take into account a host of physiological and psychological factors that combine to infl uence a garment s effectiveness and its wearability in real life exposure situations.

The fact that all of these complicated and interactive factors must be considered as a whole makes the selection of the optimum protective clothing an extremely diffi cult and daunting task. To ensure that all the appropriate precautions are taken requires thorough workplace risk assessments to be conducted at periodic intervals to ensure the short term safety and/or long-term health and well-being of the workers. This process of selecting, and regularly reviewing, protective clothing that is safe, effective and comfortable is an extremely important task and should never be overlooked or undervalued.

Within the context of an overall risk analysis 9 STEPS presented on the next page, should be followed (in alignment with national legislation/ recommendations) to arrive at the most appropriate protective clothing.