Personal Protective Equipment Directive 89/686/EEC

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is defined as 'any device to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards'. The regulations also apply to any system placed on the market in conjunction with PPE for its connection to another external, additional device.

Protective equipment is expected to be safe and fit for its stated purpose. Manufacturers, distributors, legislators and users alike demand this minimum expectation. The industry-wide commitment to responsible manufacturing is supported and governed by the Personal Protective Equipment Directive (89/686/EEC).  

Before purchasing any PPE, specifiers should consult the "Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992". These contain 14 regulations for employers to consider as part of their pre-purchase risk assessment. Purchasing to a standard does not necessarily satisfy all of the requirements of Regulation 6 – Assessment of PPE. 

The manufacturer must ensure that their products conform to either the relevant harmonised European standard, as transposed into a national (BS) or international (BS ISO) standard, or a technical specification deemed to be appropriate by a Notified Body, to meet the Basic Health and Safety requirements of the Directive.

BSI is actively involved in eight main areas of CE marking, Type Examination, Article 10, (test and certification) of PPE, namely hearing protection, respiratory protection, eye protection, head protection, protective footwear, protective gloves, protective clothing, and high visibility garments. Where required by the Directive the ongoing quality checking of the products, Article 11A or 11B, is also undertaken.

In addition to the CE marking activities, an independent test service is provided for products that do not fall within the scope of the Directive and Kitemark® quality assurance schemes are operated for many types of PPE.

Why choose BSI for product certification

As a notified body, we are trusted all over the world to ensure that products and devices meet the a variety of product certification directives and schemes.

  • Experience - BSI is one of the world's most respected and comprehensive Notified Bodies with unrivalled expertise and experience in helping its customers through these often complex processes.
  • Accessible & ready – our dedicated team is ready and waiting to help you comply with your chosen product certification needs.
  • Speed to market – our specialist expertise means that BSI can deliver one of the fastest speed-to-market services available, which give you the advantage and head start over your competitors.
  • Access to markets - as a global organisation, BSI can help you gain access to markets and business streams around the world through its network of over 50 global offices and 120 international markets.