Finding the European EN standards and certifications for workwear, knee pads and gloves can be complicated, not to mention expensive in terms of fines if certifications are not complied with in certain areas. We have compiled a list of the most important certifications to help you learn more and ensure that you choose the right workwear and equipment for the work you need to carry out. In addition, always remember to check with your workplace which certifications are required.
EN ISO 20471 is the international standard for high visibility clothing, also called reflective clothing or Hi-Vis, and is the most common workwear certification. EN 20471 replaces the previous EN 471 standard. The reflectors ensure that you are visible in the dark, while the fluorescent colour makes you visible in daylight. This certification is required, among other things, for work in high-risk areas, where you work near traffic, on construction sites and in the general vicinity of motorized vehicles, such as cranes and excavators. EN ISO 20471 is divided into 3 classes according to the visibility of the surface material, where it is the amount of fluorescent and reflective material that determines the safety class of the clothing. Class 3 is the class with the highest level of requirements.
Class 3 clothing can be achieved in several ways - you can use a Class 3 product or combine two products that become Class 3 certified when used together.
Protective clothing that is EN ISO 11612 certified protects the user from short-term contact with high heat and flames. The clothing is referred to as flame retardant or fire retardant in everyday terms. The clothing is classified according to various specifications, such as heat radiation, contact heat, etc. Workwear with EN ISO 11612 certification is suitable for electricians and industrial workers, for example, who may be at risk of exposure to fire or other hot environments. This certification is only used for clothing - with the exception of hoods. In order to the protect face or hands, additional protective equipment must be sought.
Protective clothing certified in accordance with EN ISO 14116 protects against short, accidental contact with sparks or heat in circumstances where there is no significant heat risk and where there are no other types of heat. If heat risk protection is required, EN ISO 11612 is recommended. Workwear with EN ISO 14116 certification reduces the possibility of ignition in clothing which then becomes a safety risk to the wearer.
EN 13034 certification protects against liquid chemicals in case of potential exposure to light spray, liquid atomization, or spray with low pressure and in small quantities. Workwear with this certification is suitable in areas where there is a risk of exposure to small quantities of chemicals. If you come into contact with chemicals, workwear should be removed immediately.
EN 61482 is certification for workwear for live working and protection against thermal hazards caused by electric arcs. To be fully protective, the clothing must be used in conjunction with another item that provides protection in accordance with EN 61482 1/2. In addition, any clothing underneath such as sweaters and underwear should not be worn if they are at risk of melting upon exposure to electric arcs. EN 61482 can be divided into 2 classes, with class 2 being the most protective:
Protective clothing certified in accordance with EN ISO 11611 is intended for those who are in short-term contact with flames, welding or other similar work with similar risks. If the welding clothes are soiled with flammable substances, the flame-retardant effect is reduced. In addition, the welding clothing must be used with other clothing certified with EN ISO 11611 to be fully protective. EN ISO 11611 is divided into 2 classes:
Protective EN 342 certified clothing protects you from cold. Cold is referred to as a combination of humidity and wind with an air temperature below -5°C, where it is important to keep dry and warm. If the clothes get wet, the clothing's properties deteriorate. For optimum cold protection, proper protection for head, hands and feet must be used to insulate heat, protection of head, hands and feet is not covered by EN 342.
Protective clothing certified EN 343 protects you from precipitation such as snow, rain and general humidity in the air. Here it is especially important to ensure the clothing is properly closed so that maximum protection effect is achieved. Please note that clothing with this certification is not suitable for use when working with fire.
These certifications protect you from electrostatic emissions - for work that carries a risk of explosion, for example. When using clothing with these certifications, the user must be properly grounded with the appropriate footwear. Note here that the clothing provides coverage during movement - for example while performing kneeling work.
Protective clothing, certified in accordance with EN 1149, protects the user from static electricity and reduces the risk of sparks. The clothing should be used as part of an overall grounded system to avoid electrical charges.
Clothing certified with EN 13758-2 protects you from the sun's UVA and UVB rays. If you work outside, you are at high risk of being exposed to the sun's rays, which can cause skin damage. The risk of skin damage can be reduced by wearing clothing with EN 13758-2 certification. Please note that only skin that is covered in the clothing is protected.
Clothing certified with EN ISO 15797 states that the product is suitable for industrial washing and drying.
EN 381-5 is the norm for protective clothing with saw and leg protection, also known as cutting trousers. If you perform logging work in forests, then you need workwear with this certification.
EN 381-5 is classified by chain speed:
Be aware that the trousers' saw protection overlaps with the protective footwear, otherwise you may not be optimally safeguarded.
If you buy work clothes with the Oeko-tex® Standard 100 certification, often simply referred to as Oeko-tex® 100, you are guaranteed that your clothing has been tested for harmful substances. This is an international standard with strict product requirements. It is not just the fabric that has been tested, but all parts of the product, such as labels, zippers and filling material.
EN 397 is the certification for industrial safety helmets and thus meets the physical requirements for material, construction and size. This certification protects the wearer from falling objects. Pay special attention to the fact that safety helmets have an expiry date and are not approved after the certification expires.
If you need to wear knee protectors for your work, look for the EN 14404 certification, which requires knee protectors for work carried out in a kneeling position. Knee pads should be changed regularly as needed, as wear will degrade the quality. The EN 14404 certification is classified into 3 levels 0-2:
Knee pads with EN 14404 certification are further divided into types:
EN 420 is the norm for general requirements and test methods of gloves. Be aware that if the glove is damaged, the level of protection will be impaired. These gloves are not intended for use when working with fire.
Gloves certified with EN 374 protect the user against chemicals and microorganisms. The gloves are classified from A-L in terms of what is being protected against:
In addition, they are classified in levels from 1-6, according to the speed of penetration:
Gloves certified with EN 388 protect against mechanical hazards. This certification has been updated from version 2003 to 2016, subjecting the gloves to new requirements and a new test of cutting strength. Gloves certified according to EN388: 2003 obtain a score after test A-D, where A: wear resistance, B: cut resistance, C: tear strength and D: puncture resistance. The higher the score, the better. The highest score a glove can obtain is 4544.
Gloves certified according to EN 388:2016 also obtain a score according to wear resistance, tear strength and puncture resistance. The cut resistance of the glove is indicated by a letter from A to F, where F is the highest cut resistance. Therefore, the highest score a glove can achieve is 4x44F.
EN 407 requires the gloves to be certified and approved for protection in contact with high heat and fire such as contact heat, radiant heat or molten metal. This certification is divided into levels of protection from a-f:
EN 511 requires the gloves to be certified and approved for protection against cold. The glove must be able to withstand both penetrating cold (convection cold) and contact cold, i.e. by direct contact. It is not a requirement that the glove must also be tested against water penetration. The gloves must, as a minimum, be able to achieve protection level 1 according to EN 388, applicable to wear and tear resistance.
This is the norm for high-visibility non-work clothing. It can be worn for a walk in the dark, for example, or by kids when they are cycling about.
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