Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

CEN is producing standards to meet the health and safety requirements of the directive for personal protective equipment (89/686/EEC).

An important step forward was made with the adoption of the Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment. The PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 became applicable on 21 April 2018 and repeals the PPE Directive 89/686/EEC.

PPE may be worn for Occupational Health and Safety purposes, as well as sports or other recreational activities.

Ergonomics, safety and comfort are the three main considerations when designing new PPE.

For more information contact Jennifer OGBONNA.

News and events

The next date of Personal Protective Equipment Sector Forum  meeting will take place on 25  September virtually

Technical bodies and activities

Technical Committees, which activities are related to standardization in personal protective equipment:


  • CEN/TC 231 Mechanical vibration and shock
    CEN/TC 85 Eye protective equipment
    CEN/TC 122 Ergonomics
    CEN/TC 137 Assessment of workplace exposure to chemical and biological agents
    CEN/TC 158 Head protection
    CEN/TC 159 Hearing protectors
    CEN/TC 160 Protection against falls from height including working belts
    CEN/TC 161 Foot and leg protectors
    CEN/TC 162 Protective clothing including hand and arm protection and lifejackets


  • CLC/SR 124 CLC body working on smart garments
    CLC/TC 78 Equipment and tools for live working

Access the References of the "harmonized standards" , cited in the European Union's Official Journal (OJEU).

Sector Forum

The CEN-CENELEC Sector Forum on Personal Protective Equipment coordinates European standardization in the PPE field.
The Chairman of the Sector Forum  is Mr Henk Vanhoutte, CEN-CENELEC Sector Rapporteur for PPE.
The Secretariat is provided by Ms Inga Troester( DIN.’

European legislation and mandates

The PPE Directive 89/686/EEC is one of the New Approach Directives. It is been superseded by the new Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment. The PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 is applicable from 21 April 2018.
List of mandates related to personal protective equipment: (all documents are in pdf format)
  • M/031 - Personal Protective Equipments
  • M/281 (1999) - Revision of EN 1384 relating to helmets for equestrian sports.
  • M/307 (2000) - Revision of standard EN 795 “protection against falls from a height-anchor devices – requirements and testing”  :
  • M/472 (2010) - Amendment of EN 353-1:2002 - Personal protective equipment against falls from a height - Part 1: Guided type fall arresters including a rigid anchor line.
  • M/509 (2012) - Protective textiles and personal protective clothing and equipment.
  • M/553 (2017) – smart garments – protection against heat and flame.
    The execution of work is coordinated by the CEN-CENELEC Sector Forum on PPE
  • M/571 (2020) - personal protective equipment

Useful links and documents