Posted By Stephanie Hancox on 2017-08-08 09:35

When searching for your PPE needs do you understand the difference                                                                             between what each EN standard (EN....) refers to? If not then your not the only one, It is common for people to blindly purchase a product based of its description with no regards to the EN Standard which could mean the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful purchase. With our launch of our PPE online shop; We have tried to include variations in EN Standards on the products we offer to ensure the majority of your PPE needs are catered for. 

Below we have gathered information around some of the most popular PPE equipment and clearly summarised the importance of each. We hope you find this information useful and helps in your search for the best range off PPE; Have a look at our online PPE shop.

PPE Equipment we have explained the EN Standards of include

    Safety Helmets   *   Eye Protection  *   Hearing Protection   *   Respiratory Protection

"Under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (and other related legislation such as COSHH, Noise at Work Regulations, Control of Asbestos Regulations etc) employers have a duty, inter alia, to ensure that any PPE they provide to their employees meets the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002."


Guide to choosing your safety helmet...

EN397 - The standard industrial safety helmet standard; This standard goes back over 50 years and testing                                                                                                               is only carried out to the top of the helmet. A49J                                                                                                                 impact only to the crown of the helmet measures                                                                                                               the shock absorption and a penetration test with                                                                                                               side impact test in this standard only a lateral                                                                                                                     rigidity test which is a slow progressive                                                                                                                                 force loading and is not an impact test.
EN14052- The standard for high performance industrial safety helmets;The specification includes the                                                                                                                                                   requirement for side impact                                                                                                                                                     protection. Tests require that the                                                                                                                                             shell is subjected to a total of 150J of                                                                                                                                       impact energy, 100J to  the top of the                                                                                                                                     helmet and 50J to the side (up to 60º                                                                                                                                       from the crown) of the                                                                                                                                                                 helmet.Penetration testing is also                                                                                                                                           required with a blade striker being                                                                                                                                         dropped from 2.5M to give an impact                                                                                                                                     energy of 25J on to the top of the                                                                                                                                             helmet and on to  the side of the                                                                                                                                             helmet with an impact energy of 20J                                                                                                                                       from 2M.
EN50365 The standard for electrical insulation;An additional specification for helmets used for working live                                                                                           installations up to 1000V. Testing is carried out at voltages of                                                                                         10,000V. Vented helmets meet this specification, although                                                                                               they cannot meet the electrical insulation requirements of                                                                                             EN397 and EN14052.
EN14052 the standard for mountaineers; A helmet complying to the mountaineering standard is impact                                                                                        tested with 2 5KG strikers. A hemispherical striker is dropped from                                                                              2M onto the crown of he helmet and a  flat striker from 500M on to                                                                              the front, rear or side by tilting the head form to 30º. In all cases,                                                                                  the transmitted force through the neck of the head form must not                                                                                exceed 10KN. Two penetration tests with a 3KG pointed striker are                                                                              also performed within 50mm radius of the helmet's crown without                                                                              making contact with the head form.
EN812 the standard for industrial bump caps;The specification requires the cap being hit 4 times by a 5KG                                                                                           flat steel striker falling with 12J of energy. A bump cap is                                                                                                   intended to provide protection against bumps and scrapes to                                                                                         he head, it should not be used where falling or thrown objects                                                                                       are likely and should not be used where falling or thrown                                                                                                 objects are likely and should not be used where an industrial                                                                                         safety helmet is required.


Guide to choosing your Eye Protection...

EN166:2001; All safety eyewear has a series of numbers and letters on the frame and lens'. These                                        markings will tell you that the product has been subjected to certain tests within EN166 and                                found to be suitable for the purpose. As an example a pair of safety spectacles carrying the                                  marking EN166.1.F tells you refractive tolerance +0.06dio, low impact, field of use basic and no                            resistance to misting or surface damage.
EN170:2002; UV Rays Protection-European Standard for ultraviolet Filters. Requirements relating to the                                   transmittance of filters for protection against ultraviolet radiation.
EN172:2002; Specification for sun glare filters used in personal eye protection for industrial use.                                                Requirements relating to the transmittance of filters for protection against solar radiation.

Guide to choosing your Ear Protection...

The performance of the hearing protector (it's attenuation level) must be adapted to the risk assessment of the workplace. It should bring the noise level to a level that is not harmful to health, while avoiding over protection which would cut the operator off from his environment (warnings, communication, ect).
Exposure to noise is much more than a nuisance. It can be permanently damaging. In work conditions where the noise levels exceed 80db individuals must be provided with hearing protection if they request it. At 85db individuals must be informed and training provided in the use of hearing protection.
How to protect yourself? Firstly, identify the nature of the noise: stable, fluctuating, intermittent or pulse. Secondly, measure the noise at the working station: intensity (dB) and volume (Hz). Thirdly, determine the exposure time and lastly calculate the required reduction to return to a background level acceptable (see directive 2003/10/EC).
8 hours exposure time at or above 85 db 8 hours exposure time at or above 80db 8 hours exposure time between 75db and 80db
Obligatory hearing protection Hearing protectors available to the worker Hearing protection recommended


Guide To Noise Source Hazards


       Harmful Area                                                         Risk Area                                          Safe Area

    Jet Engine 140 dBA                                           Plate Fabrication, Chainsaw 100dBA                  Busy Traffic 80dBA

   Rivetting Hammer 130 dBA                           Power Tools, Lawnmower 90 dBA                       Vaccum Cleaner 70dBA

  Propeller Aircraft 120 dBA                                                                                                              Normal Conversation 60dBA

   Rock Drill 110 dBA


Hearing Standards...

EN 352-1 : Hearing Protectors - Ear Muffs

EN 352-2 : Hearing Protectors - Ear Plugs

EN 352-3: Hearng Protectors - Helmet Mount Ear Muffs

SNR Rating

Simplified Noise Level Reduction is a way of comparing different hearing protectors performance. The SNRis deducted from the overall sound level to calculate the sound level at the ear when wearing the hearing protector.

Guide to choosing Your Respiratory Protection...

Disposble maks


EN 149:2001 + A1:2009; European standard tests to check the conformity with resistance to impacts, to                                                        cleansers and disinfectants, to temperature. A1:2009 amendment,filtering dust                                                        masks are now classified as either single use/single shift (NR) or reusable/more than                                              1 shift (R).
TIL; Total Inward Leakage; Leakage of the ambient atmosphere into the respiratory interface.


NRF;Normal Protection Factor- Nominal Level of Protection which can realistically be expected in the                                                                         workplace conditions.
Dolomite Test (D); Optional Test under EN149 for clogging with dolomite dust. Respirators which pass the                                         dolomite clogging test are proven to provide a more comfortable breathing level and                                             longer lasting performances of filtration.


How to Protect Yourself? Guideline...




Protects from non-toxic dust and/or water-based aerosols. Protects from slightly toxic or irritating solid aerosols and/or liquids. Protects from solid aerosols and/or liquids listed as toxic.

Examples of Application
Handling of stone, rubble, cellulose, concrete drilling. Sanding of soft wood, composite materials, rust, putty, plaster, plastics/cutting, milling, grinding, metal drilling. Sanding off hard wood (beech, oak), treatment of wood using copper, chrome or arsenic based products, impact stripping of paint, sanding of cement.

Flour, calcium carbonate (chalk), graphite, cotton, dust concrete. Untreated softwood, grinding, cutting, welding, milling, coal, glass fibre, mineral fibre, powdered pesticide, grain dust. Asbestos (without handling it), powdered pesticide, biological, pharmaceutical, powder, treated wood, hard wood (exotic), chromium, lime and lead.

% Min of Filtration
80% 94% 99%

Total Inward Leakage (TIL)
22% 8% 2%

Nominal Protection Factor (NPF)
4,5 X TLV 12,5 X TLV 50 X TLV

Assigned Protection Value (APV)
4 X TLV 10 X TLV 20 X TLV


Full Face Masks and Half Masks...


EN136: 1998; Respiratory Protective Devices- Full face masks..... This European standard specifies minimum requirments for                                                                                                                          full face mask respiratory protective devices.

EN140: 1998 Respiratory Protective Devices - Half Masks...This European standard specifies minimum requirements for half                                                                                                              masks for use as part of respiratory protective devices, except                                                                                                                    escape apparatus and diving apparatus.

EN14387: 2004 Respiratory Protective Devices- Gas Filters and Combined filters....This European standard refers to gas filters                                                                                                                                                        and combined filters for use AS                                                                                                                                                                              components in unassisted respiratory                                                                                                                                                                protective devices.

EN143: 200 Respiratory Protective Devices - Particle Filters....The European standard specifies particle filters for use as                                                                                                                             components in unassisted respiratory protective with the                                                                                                                             exception of escape apparatus and filtering face pieces.


If by chance we have not covered a particular EN standard which you would like more information on or if you have a general enquiry either about our PPE shop or the Occupational Health Assessments we offer then don hesitate to get in touch today.

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