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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) testing and certification from SGS – ensure your products comply with Directive 89/686/EEC.

Protection glove
PPE is considered to be any item designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more safety hazards. In Europe, placing PPE products on the market is regulated by the PPE Directive (89/686/EEC). This applies to most safety products intended for use in leisure and sports activities, as well as for professional use.

All PPE products covered by 89/686/EEC must meet the Basic Health and Safety Requirements (BHSR) listed and described in Annex II of the PPE Directive.

PPE Testing

Our testing laboratories provide comprehensive testing services on many types of PPE:

Equipment and accessories

  • Eye protection: sunglasses, swimming goggles 
  • Head protection: safety and sports helmets 
  • Arm/leg protection: wrist, palm, knee and elbow protectors

Clothing and footwear

  • Protective clothing: high visibility clothing, motorcyclists’ protective clothing, welding clothing, and heat & flame protective clothing 
  • Protective footwear: safety, protective, occupational footwear 
  • Protective gloves: protection against mechanical risk, welding, thermal risks

The first step to check the quality of PPE is to conduct testing to assess the compliance with relevant test standards. Harmonized standards have been published for the PPE directive and compliance provides a presumption of conformity with the BHSR of the Directive.

In addition to the testing, the harmonized standards also describe the requirements for User Information and Product Marking. 

PPE Certification

PPE is classified into three categories, I, II and III. In each case you must produce an EC declaration of conformity.
PPE Category Certification requirements
Category I:
Simple products, such as gardening gloves, sunglasses, etc.
Manufacturer can self certify, a process that requires the development of a technical file which includes the manufacturer’s Declaration of Conformity.
Category II:
Safety and sports helmets, safety footwear, high visibility clothing, etc.
Require an EC-type examination (Article 10) by a Notified Body, such as SGS. 
Category III:
Complex products, such as respiratory equipment, fall arrest equipment and chemical protective clothing.

Require an EC Type Examination certificate (Article 10) and ongoing assessment of compliance (Article 11). Under Article 11, the client can choose to have the Notified Body

  • Audit the manufacturing site annually to ensure that quality management systems are in place to manufacture a compliant product on an ongoing basis
  • Select samples annually for compliance testing 

CE Marking

We provide EC-type examination certification for Category II and III products through SGS United Kingdom Limited (notified body number 0120) and annual factory audit for Category III products through our global auditor network. After certification, qualifying products must display the CE Mark.

Why choose PPE testing and certification from SGS?

Our global network and experts provide you one stop simple solutions for PPE product compliance with testing and certification requirements. Our accredited laboratories also provide assistance in compiling technical files and coordinate with Notified Bodies for application of EC type examination.

Contact us today for more details.