CE marking in workwear
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must bear the CE marking, affixed to the product by its manufacturer or by those who place it on the European market. The CE marking serves as European certification, guaranteeing that the PPE complies with all the essential requirements outlined in REGULATION (EC) No. 765/2008 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL, dated 9 July 2008.
Each category has specific specifications to adhere to, as outlined in REGULATION (EU) No. 425, dated 9 March 2016, OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL regarding personal protective equipment, and it repeals Council Directive 89/686/EEC. Let’s examine them in detail:
For PPE falling under CATEGORY I, a DECLARATION OF CONFORMITY (self-certification) by the supplier suffices to confirm that the PPE models placed on the market comply with the directive’s provisions. The manufacturer must affix the CE marking to each piece of PPE and create a European Union declaration of conformity, which must be available to national authorities for ten years from the date of market introduction.
- The PPE first undergoes CE certification by a European Notified Body, which verifies the completeness of all produced documentation, the technical design, and a representative PPE sample that mirrors subsequent production. It also checks whether the essential health and safety requirements are met through the requisite tests, issuing a certification certificate upon successful completion.
Subsequently, the manufacturer attaches a CE marking to each piece of PPE and prepares a written EU declaration of conformity for a specific PPE model, making it available to national authorities for ten years from the date the PPE enters the market.
Furthermore, CATEGORY III PPE undergoes periodic inspections conducted by an audit team, comprising at least one member familiar with the applicable essential health and safety requirements and with expertise in assessing the PPE sector.
The audit team conducts regular inspections, at a minimum of once a year, and not necessarily with prior notice. More specifically, this team reviews the technical documentation related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and may choose to conduct or have examinations and tests performed on the PPE to confirm the quality system’s proper functionality. Subsequently, the notified body must send the manufacturer an inspection report, and if tests have been performed, a test report as well. The notified body is then required to send the manufacturer a report on the inspection and, if tests have been conducted, also a test report.
Certifications are renewed automatically when the Notified Body approves the PPE’s quality system. In case of failure, the PPE must be eliminated, modified, or replaced.
WARNING: CE certification, like all CE markings, is supplementary and NEVER substitutes the CE marking itself.
|Protects against minor physical damage risks
|CE Declaration of Conformity by the manufacturer
|PPE not falling into other categories
|CE conformity and CE certification certificate issued by the Notified Body
|Complex design, protection from the risk of death or serious and permanent injury
|Certifications as above, subjected to production control systems by a competent body
The general CE marking must meet the following criteria
- It should be visible.
- It must be easily readable.
- It must be permanent throughout the life of the PPE.
- Its dimensions should not be smaller than 5mm
The CE marking can only be omitted from the PPE if it can be demonstrated that its inclusion would compromise the device’s health and safety requirements, or if there is not enough space for it. In such cases, the CE marking must be affixed to the packaging closest to the PPE
WARNING: Do not mistake the CE (European Conformance) mark with the CE (China Export) mark, which has the letters closer together.
EXAMPLE OF A CERTIFICATED GARMENT LABEL
- Manufacturer’s name and address
- Size, height, and waist measurements
- Specific reference standard
- Reference pictograms
- Reference protection category
- Fabric-related details
- Washing method information
- Planned uses
- Limits of use
- Washing limits
- Usage instructions (according to specific standards)
- Maintenance and conservation instructions, disposal, recycling
- Reference to compatible accessories
- Materials used in all layers
An INFORMATION NOTE accompanies the garment, with an invitation to consult it.