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Are you exhibiting at A+A?

Highlighting the importance of having PPE products tested before they are displayed at the show.

by Stuart Morgan

Image © Messe Dusseldorf / ctillmann

One of the most important events for anyone interested in safety footwear or personal protective equipment (PPE) is the A+A Health and Safety exhibition, which this year is being held on November 5th to 8th in the German city of Düsseldorf.

This impressive biennial fair – once again located in the Messe Düsseldorf complex – is extremely important to suppliers and buyers of PPE. It is probably the largest of its kind in the world, and easily the largest in Europe. The 2017 show attracted over 67,000 visitors who discussed their requirements with 1,942 exhibiting companies, and this year’s event will focus on three main themes: ‘safety at work’, ‘security at work’ and ‘health at work’.

 

All items of PPE intended for the European market must meet the new regulation’s requirements

As all PPE items to be placed on the European market must be produced in line with the new (EU) 2016/425 regulation, it is imperative that they are shown to meet the latest requirements. This may call for testing and subsequent certification from a Notified Body such as SATRA.

Since the implementation of the original PPE Directive, SATRA has become one of the leading Notified Bodies for the CE marking of PPE intended for supply within Europe, and has been influential in the development of PPE-related test methods and safety standards. SATRA’s testing and certification services now extend across most areas of PPE – from safety footwear to head protection, and nearly everything worn in between. Our well-equipped mechanical, thermal, chemical, optical and acoustic laboratories are capable of testing most types of PPE.

Preparation for the new regulation

The first step in preparing to showcase products at A+A is to review your range in order to identify the priorities for recertification, and assess the associated technical files against the criteria laid out in Annex III of the new regulation. It is important that all information is current and validated. As any recertification will be based on the current version of the standards, it is recommended that these documents be reviewed to ensure that current product designs are fully compliant. Please let us know if you would like a list of all SATRA EC type-examination certificates issued to your company.

If you produce any of the products that has been reclassified from Category II (‘intermediate design’) to Category III (‘complex design’), you should review the production monitoring obligations as laid out in Module C2 (Annex VII) or Module D (Annex VIII) of the regulation. It is important to decide which is going to be most suitable for your business. If you opt for Module D and do not already have a suitable quality management or factory production control system, this will need to be introduced to your company.

If you supply any Category I products that do not need the services of a Notified Body, you should still ensure that you meet the obligations as laid down in Module A (Annex IV) of the regulation. However, this is not generally applicable to items of footwear.

 

Welcoming delegates to the SATRA stand at the previous A+A Show

According to the Regulation (EU) 2016/425, after 21st April 2019, it will not be possible to place on the market any PPE product that has been made according to the old 89/686/EEC Directive.

In very simplistic terms, ‘placing on the market’ is defined as when an individual product is made available on the EU market for the first time. Hence, it is transferred, with the intention of distribution, from the stage of manufacture (if production is within the EU) or transferred from the importer (if production is outside the EU). The only economic operators that can ‘place product on the market’ are therefore manufacturers or importers.

SATRA members recognise the added value of having their products certified by SATRA and are always keen to display ‘Member of SATRA logos’ on their stands. Self-adhesive logos are available for this use – please visit www.satra.com/members/member_logo.php for further information on use of the logo and how to obtain your copies.

Particularly during the months leading up to a major exhibition like A+A, we test and certify many new products ready for launch. We provide a fast and efficient testing programme to all our customers and can offer constructive help and advice where appropriate to our members – right from the sample development stage. Such assistance, from concept to certification, is often deemed invaluable in reducing development times and quickly acquiring certificates.

How can we help?

Make sure you do not miss the opportunity of getting your product type approved by SATRA in time for the A+A 2019 fair. Please email ppe@satra.com to discuss your development, testing and certification requirements.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 48 of the March 2019 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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