The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive 89/686/EEC is now over 20 years old, and plans are in place to update it to reflect new technologies that have been employed in bringing PPE to the market.
To this end a draft version of the new Regulations was approved by the European Commission and Parliament at the end of the summer. It is now waiting for the final wording to be agreed by the European Council, likely to be at the end of 2015 or early 2016. The new Regulation is due to come into force in 2016, with a transition period taking place during 2016/2017, with full enforcement of the PPE Regulation by the end of 2018.
Some of the key changes of the new standard are likely to be:
- The new Regulation will be effective over the entire supply chain (not just manufacturers as per the previous PPE Directive) so anyone involved in the supply and distribution chain will have to take appropriate measures to ensure the PPE meets with the standard requirements.
- A number of types of protection will move from category 2 (intermediate) to category 3 (complex), for example hearing protection and life jackets.
- A requirement to supply a declaration of conformity with every item of PPE that is placed on the market.
- Introducing a five year certificate of validity to bring it in line with similar European requirements such as the Medical Devices Directive.
- The requirements will be reclassified as a PPE Regulation – a binding legislative act, which must be applied precisely across the EU.
Employers and safety managers who are responsible for the purchase of PPE need to ensure that their providers will be able to meet with the new Regulation to protect employees.
We will keep you up to date with any updates.
Contact us if you require further information.
Remember that young people may not be equipped with the necessary skills and awareness in the workplace – it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure they are always kept safe.
Protect Your Apprentices with these 6 Top Tips
- Risk assessments for young persons (i.e. anyone under 18) must consider their lack of experience and maturity and their ability to recognise risk. There’s no need to do a completely new assessment – just make sure that you consider these elements in relation to your activities. Some high-risk activities, for example, those involving electricity, chemicals or asbestos, may not be suitable for young persons to take part in.
- Think about what needs adapting in the workplace for young persons. Machines can be labelled with who can use them and the time allowed on them, as well as the level of supervision needed. It’s fine to put age restrictions on higher-risk plant and vehicles which generally need formal training.
- Consider apprentices as individuals – look at their physical capabilities, such as the weights they are able to lift comfortably. It shouldn’t take long but consider their psychological capability too – do this by seeing whether they can follow instructions correctly, and retain information by being able to answer questions on what they’ve been told.
- Always ensure the person receives an initial induction, site walk-arounds to familiarise themselves, and are told the findings of your risk assessments in relation to their role. On-the-job training should be planned in advance and delivered by competent staff.
- Supervision is key. Unless the activity is low risk, apprentices shouldn’t be left alone until you can be sure of their level of competence.
- Give them a named person that they can go to if they have any questions or worries – this could be one of your Health and Safety Representatives, for example.
Contact us if you are looking to take an apprentices or would like your documents reviewed.