Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are unique products as far as the user buying it buys protection encountered at home, work and leisure. Yearly statistics of mortal and major work accidents do impressively explain the importance of protection and prevention: personal health and safety are fundamental rights and people expect and require a high level protection at work, home and at leisure.
The European Commission has been active in the pursuit of this ideal initiating a series of directives improving health and safety at work and providing for high quality PPE.
PPE Directive 89/686/EEC covers these products. It defines legal obligations ensuring that PPE on the European market gives the highest level of protection against hazards: the CE marking affixed to PPE signals that. As this is a “New Legal Framework” Directive, manufacturers or their authorised representative in the European Union can comply with the technical requirements either directly, or by means of European Harmonised Standards, the latter providing a presumption of conformity to the essential health and safety requirements. (See PPE standardization).