Category III PPE Products
Personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures safety at work and during leisure time. Therefore, it is very important that safety glasses, such as sun glasses, laser safety glasses or other eye protection equipment comply with the legal requirements to ensure their protective function.
The new PPE Regulation 2016/425 took effect in the spring of 2016. The old PPE Directive 89/686 EEC for the testing and certification of personal protective equipment continues to remain valid for another two years, until April 20, 2018. During this time period, manufacturers and distributors of PPE products have time to prepare for the new requirements.
The Different PPE Categories
Different professions have different potentials for risks. The higher the risk potential and the severity of potential injuries, the greater the protective function of PPE and the stricter the regulatory requirements for personal protective equipment.
Therefore, PPE products are classified in different risk categories as specified in the PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. Depending on the category, different assessment of conformity procedures must be followed.
Category III includes all PPE products that protect against potentially deadly hazards or serious and irreversible injuries to health; the user may not recognize the direct effect of the hazard in time.
This category includes for example:
- All protective breathing apparatus
- Eye protectors, which are designed for use at high temperatures with extremely intensive IR radiation, in which there is a risk of flames, arcing faults or splashes of molten material.
Confidence is Good - DIN-Geprüft is Better
With the recognized and neutral certification mark "DIN-Geprüft", DIN CERTCO offers the manufacturer an opportunity to convince its customers of the quality of its products and supports the buying decision by using our DIN mark - which is a synonym for confidence.
Basis of Testing
The following standards are the bases for testing and certification:
- DIN EN 166 - Personal eye-protection - Specifications
- GS-ET-29 - Supplementary requirements for the testing and certification of face shields for electrical works
They specify the requirements and testing procedures for Category 1 products. The following criteria are subject to the testing:
- Optical effects of the oculars
- Optical Aberration
- Transmission characteristics
- Artificial ageing
- General construction requirements (ergonomics)
- Mechanical requirements
- Resistance to ignition
- Testing of coatings
- User instructions
The Way to the Mark
Any PPE, which is to be placed on the German and European market, requires a CE Mark. With the CE Mark, the manufacturer is declaring, at its sole responsibility, that his PPE products conform to the requirements of the European Directives (declaration of conformity). In a conformity assessment procedure, the products are tested for compliance with the requirements of the PPE Directive 89/686/EEC.
The procedures that must be included for the CE marking by the manufacturer depend on the PPE category of the product and on the associated risk group.
Category III PPE products must be tested and certified before they can be placed on the European Single Market and brought into retail.
As a Notified Body of the EU Commission (Notified Body 0196), DIN CERTCO PZA assesses eye protection equipment in accordance with the harmonized European standards and norms, and issues EC-type examination certificates as a prerequisite for the CE Mark. In addition, the final product or the quality assurance system of the manufacturer is subject to periodic surveillance.
The GS Mark may not be issued for Category III products.
By using a voluntary quality seal (e.g. the marks issued by DIN CERTCO, DINplus or DIN-Geprüft), the manufacturer has the additional option to demonstrate that the product was tested by an independent third party and complies with the product standard.
DIN-Geprüft is the quality mark for the tested and monitored conformity of a product with the respective requirements contained in the DIN-, DIN EN or DIN EN ISO standards and in certification schemes, as well as for the regularly conducted monitoring of in-factory production controls.
The DINplus mark is the quality mark for products for which conformity with standards has been tested and monitored and which satisfies additional requirements such as quality and environmental measures during production as well as annual monitoring of the factory production quality control system procedures of the manufacturer. This is the "plus of quality".
Adherence to the minimum standards laid down in EC Directive is documented by the CE mark as a kind of "technical passport". All eye protection equipment must bear this mark. However, it is merely a mark for the free movement of goods and, therefore, is neither a safety nor a quality mark..
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
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