Any company manufacturing, importing and supplying Personal Protective Equipment is responsible for making the necessary information available to all who need it. This is in the form of product labelling, product standards, and links to information relating to the intended use.
The current PPE Directive focuses on manufacturer’s compliance, whereas the new Regulations will be effective over the whole supply chain.
Any procurement professional organising PPE within your organisation, should note that EC type examination certificates issued under the existing Personal Protective Equipment Regulations, based on EC Directive 89/686/ EEC, will remain valid until 21st April 2023, unless they expire before that date. However, EC type certificates to the old Directive can only be issued up until April 2019. You will therefore need to be aware of the changes that are now in place, to ensure that your PPE items remain compliant with the new Regulations.
Your PPE supplier should be preparing to get items tested in accordance with the new Regulation requirements. It is also important to note that all Category III PPE requires on-going surveillance through testing and/or factory auditing, to ensure consistency of manufacturing quality, and compliance with the relevant product standards.
You need to identify which items of PPE you have, and what standards they have been tested to. Being aware of what is different, will allow you to be better informed of what you are looking for in the PPE that you purchase in future.
Distributors need to be aware that parts of the Regulations will affect the supply of PPE on those products mentioned, and must be able to produce a valid Certificate of Conformity. Manufacturers must legally comply with the Regulations, and may be asked by importers and distributors for assurance that items meet compliance. This requires a vaild type examination certificate to the new Regulations, from the dates specified.