Levels of Protection Physical Agents (Noise) Directive � 2003/10/EC

This directive is now in place and has taken two years to implement, and became law in early 2006. It requires that any persons working in noise levels between 80dBA (lower action level) & 85dBA must be provided with suitable hearing protection on request.

Where noise levels are at or above 85dBA then suitable hearing protection must be worn.

In addition the new “exposure limit value” requires that no worker may be exposed to more than “87 dBA 8 hour equivalent” under any circumstances, taking into account any hearing protection worn, (the 87dBA level is that INSIDE the hearing protector). There are also new “Action Values” for IMPACT NOISE and the requirement for risk assessments in the workplace is reinforced by article 4 of the new directive.

evans safety can organize complete noise assessments of your workplace and suggest the type of hearing protector that would most suit your workforce.


SNR is only a general means of comparing different ear protectors. Generally higher the SNR number, the better the performance of the ear protector across a range of noise frequencies.

HML Method

The HML method gives a comparable accuracy to the octave waveband system. The HML methods refer to the specific hearing protector at High, medium and low frequencies.

Hearing Protector Devices Standard
Ear Muffs EN352 part 1
Ear plugs EN352 part 2
Helmet Mounted ear muffs EN352 part 3
Active noise reduction ear muffs EN352 part 5
Ear muffs with electrical audio input EN352 part 6

Evans safety offers a truly fantastic range of safety footwear, we
cover everything from the basic chukka to designer brands, all meet the
newest standard EN 20345

To choose the right footwear you need to recognize the risks involved in the day to day activities

  1. Impact resistant toe caps
  2. Pierce resistant midsoles
  3. Anti static soles
  4. Sole resistant to heat
  5. Sole resistant to cold
  6. Water resistant
  7. Resistance to fuel oil
  8. Resistance to chemicals
  9. Slip resistant sole

Checkout the “U” Power range its one of the most advanced technological footwear ranges in Europe. For “U” power the future is now! Just look at the technology this footwear has got to offer, plus most of the technology is patented

  1. Airtoe – Actual breathable toecaps, available in composite 50gr, Aluminium 54gr and Titanium 52gr, a normal steel toecap weighs 95gr
  2. Stress out system – an innovative tongue system to help the instep and allow comfort when walking. This exclusive technology comes from extended studies on the ergonomics of the feet
  3. Save & Flex – the exclusive pierce resistant “No Metal” midsole in comparison to the classic steel midsole is far lighter, more flexible and safer since it is stitched directly into the upper therefore protecting the entire sole area, steel protects roughly 85% of the sole
  4. Insoles – five types of insoles available, Naural Confort 11, ergo Dry, Dual action gel, Relax gel and leather gel – ask for more information!
  5. Wingtex – a revolutionary air tunnel lining for the utmost breathability, special microcells have fantastic absorbance and deabsorbance features

The New standard for safety footwear is EN ISO 20345

Code Description
SB Safety Basic 200 joule protection
As SB but with pierce resistant sole
200 joule toecap protection. Fully enclosed heel, antistatic properties, energy absorption of seat region.
As S1 but with pierce resistant sole
200 joule toecap protection. Fully enclosed heel, antistatic properties, energy absorption of seat region. Water penetration and water absorption resistance.
200 joule toecap protection. Fully enclosed heel, antistatic properties, energy absorption heel of seat region. Water penetration and water absorption resistance , plus penetration resistance. Cleated outsole
200 joule toecap protection. All rubber or all polymeric footwear with antistatic properties, energy absorption of seat region.
As S4 plus pierce resistant midsole and cleated outsole

ESD Footwear

There are three standard levels of conductivity:

  1. Antistatic 1 – 1000 Mega Ohms
  2. ESD 0 – 35 Mega Ohms
  3. Conductive 0 – 0.1 Mega Ohms
  • The antistatic standard offers dissipation levels approved by the petro chemical industries as defence against flash point problems. This standard has a 1 Mega Ohm bottom end resistance to guard against mains voltage.
  • The ESD (Electrostatic dissipation) standard EN61340-5-1 and EN100015
  •  The conductive standard offers no protection from mains voltage at all and can therefore prove dangerous if used in general industry. This standard is only used in munitions manufacturing and the MOD


Legislation states employees are responsible for providing suitable respiratory protection to employees who require it, training will be needed in its use, plus maintenance of the product is required and records of maintenance kept. Check out Evans safety services for unrivalled expertise!

The main hazards found in most workplaces are as follows

  1. Dusts – When solid materials are broken down, fine particles are produced into airborne particles
  2. Mists – Tiny liquid droplets formed by atomization and condensation processes like spraying
  3. Meal fumes – occur when metals are vaporized under high heat
  4. Gases – often odourless and invisible , can travel freely and quickly
  5. Vapours – gases formed when solids or liquids evaporate at room temperature

Choosing the right RPE

  1. Identify the hazard – dust, metal fume, gas or vapour
  2. Assess the hazard and the concentration of the contaminant. Never underestimate!
  3. Measure what the likely exposure levels are
  4. Select the correct form of RPE – half mask, full facemask, disposable, powered air or airline
  5. Training – all respiratory users should be trained in the correct fitting, usage and maintanance

European Standards for Respiratory equipment

Respirators are tested to the relevant EN standard and CE marked. All respirators carry the CE mark plus the European standard and performance category markings.

Standard related Products
EN149: 2001 filtering face piece
EN149: 1991 Particulate respirators
EN405 Valved filtering half mask respirator for gases and or particulates
EN140 Half mask face pieces
EN136 Full face masks
EN137 Self contained open circuit compressed air breathing apparatus
EN141 Gas & Vapour filters
EN143 Particulate filters
EN146 Powered Respirators hoods and helmets
EN147 Powered full face masks
EN270 Heavy duty supplied air
EN371 Gas and or combined filters for use against low boiling organic compounds
EN402 Escape apparatus. SCBA with full face mask or mouthpiece assembly
EN1146 Compressed air escape apparatus with hood
EN1835 Light duty supplied air
EN12941 Powered respirators � hoods and helmets (as EN146 rev. but also requires a low flow indicator)
EN12942 Powered Respirator full face masks.

Filter markings

Type “A” Brown Organic vapours with boiling point greater than 65 degrees C
Type “B” Grey Inorganic gases and vapours, e.g. Chlorine (not  carbon dioxide)
Type “E”> Yellow Acid gases and vapours, e.g. sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide
Type “K” Green Ammonia and organic ammonia derivatives
Type “P1” White Protection against particulates in concentrations up to 4xOEL
Type “P2” White As above but up to 10xOEL
Type “P3” White As above but up to 20xOEL
Type “AX” Brown Certain organic compounds with boiling points less than 65 degrees C
  1. Gas Tight – Type 1 prEN943:1995
  2. Non Gas Tight – Type 2 prEN943: 1995
  3. Liquid Tight (limited Life) Type 3 EN1511: 1994 (PVC) Type 3 EN466: 1995
  4. SprayTight (Limited Life) Type 4 EN1512: 1993 (PVC) Type 3 EN465: 1995
  5. Dry Particle protection Type 5 prEN13982 ½
  6. Reduced spray protection Type 6 EN 13034 Type (PB) 6 EN 13034: 2005
  7. Protection against radioactive particles EN1073 – 2
  8. Viral Barrier ASTM 1671
  9. Flame, Heat & Arc Protection, EN533 Index 1,2 or 3, EN531 A,B,C,D,E. EN470 -1, EN50354.
  10. Electrostatic Performance (Anti Static ) EN1149, IEC61340-5-1.
  11. Protection against moving parts EN510, AHV510.
  12. Chainsaw protection EN381
  13. High Visibility EN471
  14. Rain Protection EN343
  15. Protection against the cold EN342

CE means the gloves comply to a basic requirement laid down by the EEC directive for Personal Protective equipment.

Simple Design (Category 1)

For areas of minimal risk where the effects of not wearing a glove are easily reversible or superficial – such products are self certified.

Intermediate Design (Category 2)

For areas of specific risk ie: mechanical risks, such products will have been EC Type tested against European test methods and certified by a notified body.

Complex Design (Category 3)

For areas/applications that can seriously or irreversibly harm their health. Such products, in addition to CE type test, will also have to be either produced under an approved quality system Or be type tested on an annual basis.

General requirements of EN420

EN420 defines the general requirements for most types of protective gloves

  • Product and packaging information and marking
  • Design and construction
  • Fitness for the purpose
  • Sizing
  • Comfort and efficiency
  • Innocuousness
  • Storage
Chemical and Micro – organism EN374 Rating
EN374-2 Resistance to penetration 1-3
By micro-organisms referred to as acceptable quality level (AQL)
EN374-3 Resistance to chemical 1-6
b) Puncture resistance 0-4
Hazards (Permeation)
Mechanical Hazards EN388 Rating
a) Resistance to abrasion 0-4
b) Blade cut resistance 0-5
a) Tear resistance 0-4
b) Puncture resistance 0-4
Protection from Cold EN511 Rating
a) Resistance to convection cold 0-4
b) Resistance to contact cold 0-4
a) Permeability to water 0-1
Thermal Hazards (hot and/or fire) EN407 Rating
a) Burning Behaviour 0-4
b) Contact heat 0-4
c) Convection heat 0-4
d) Radiant Heat 0-4
e) Small splashes of molten metal 0-4
f) Large splashes of molten metal 0-4
The higher the score, the better the performance. 0 represents a fail – X denotes no test was carried out

This standard lays down test methods and performance
criteria for gloves offering protection against ionizing radiation and
radioactive contamination.
Medical gloves for single use

EN 659 This standard defines performance requirements for gloves designed to protect fire fighters against heat and flames.
EN 421
EN 455

Being struck by a moving vehicle is the second most common cause of death in the workplace today and accounted for 17% of all fatal injuries in 2002/3

In order to comply with all UK and European legislation, you need to ensure that the high visibility garments comply with EN471:2003 table 1, class 2 or 3 which must be worn at all times.

There are 3 classes of high visibility garments based on the levels of visibility they provide, in all cases the bands of reflective material shall not be less than 50mm wide, and the standard specifies minimum areas of banding and background material which is generally fluorescent in colour.

Class Description
Class 1 Lowest protection level � mostly Hi Viz trousers
Class 2 Mid level visibility typically a vest with 1 or 2 bands and braces
Class 3 Highest level of visibility and constructed as a jacket with sleeves and a range of reflective material as 2 bands on the sleeve, and 1 band with braces, 2 bands with braces or 2 bands only. Class 3 garments must be worn on dual carriageways with a speed limit of 50mph and above.

Safety Standard Description
EN531 EU Standard applicable to protective clothing for workers exposed to heat. The clothing consists of outer garments made from flexible material to protect specific parts of the ody. Hoods and gaiters are included, but all other types of protection for the head, hands and feet are included. Code A limited flame spread Code B Convective heat Code C Radiant heat Code D Molten Aluminium splash (part of EN531) Code E Molton Iron splash (part of EN531)
EN532 Protective clothing. Protection against heat and flame. Test method for limited flame spread. Specifies a method whereby a small flame is applied to vertically oriented specimens of textiles and textile related materials.
EN533 Protective clothing. Protection against heat and flame. Limited flame spread of materials and material assemblies. A classification system is given for material and material  assemblies
Electric Arc Standard EN50354
Pass Class 1 (4kA) exposure level Pass Class 2 (7kA) exposure level. Proposed draft standard for electricity and utility workers exposed to risk of electric arc explosion.
IEC 61482 � Electric Arc Test methods supersedes and incorporates EN50354 above.
ISO 15384 - Wildlan Firefighting clothing
ISO 15384 - �Protective clothing for firefighters � Laboratory test methods and performance requirements for Wildland firefighting clothing.

EN166 – specification for personal eye protection, applies to all types of eye protection used against various hazards, as encountered in industry, DIY activities etc, which are likely to damage your vision.

This will hopefully help you understand further the markings etc present on all types of eye & face protectors:

Optical Standard

  • Optical standard 1 for continuous work (lens marking)
  • Optical standard 2 for intermittent work (lens marking)
  • Optical standard 3 for occasional work (must not be worn continuously) lens marking

Mechanical Properties

  • Increased robustness (general purpose) lens marking S
  • High energy impact (190m/sec) frame & lens marking A
  • Medium energy impact (120m/sec) frame & lens marking B

Fields of use

  • Liquids (chemical) frame 3
  • Large Dust Particles frame 4
  • Gas & fine dust particles frame 5
  • Short circuit electric arc frame 8
  • Molten metals and hot solids frame & lens 9

Optional requirements

  • Resistance to misting & fogging lens N
  • Resistance to scratching K
Safety Standard Description
EN169 Welding filters
EN167 Methods for optical tests
EN170 Ultra Violet filters
EN171 Infrared Filters
EN172 Solar protection filters for industrial use
EN175 Welding work equipment
EN207 laser protection eyewear
EN379 Welding filters with switchable luminous transmittance and dual luminous transmittance
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