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EN 14058:2004 – Garments for protection against cool environments

Investigating the European standard for this type of clothing.

Image © volkansengor

The EN 14058:2004 standard specifies the requirements and test methods for the performance of garments providing protection against local cooling of the body in cool environments. A ‘cool environment’ is defined by the standard as ‘an environment generally characterised as a possible combination of humidity and wind at a temperature of -5ºC or above’.

Many jobs require working in a cool environment, whether outside (for example, in construction work) or inside, such as in food processing. Typical clothing tested to EN 14058 includes waistcoats, jackets and trousers. Ensembles and garments for colder (cold temperatures) environments are covered by a different standard – EN 342.

Both of these standards call up the same properties, but are independent of each other and do not overlap. Neither EN 14058 nor EN 342 apply to headwear, gloves or footwear.

Cool weather clothing should be lightweight, wind-resistant and possibly breathable. For outdoor activities, rain protection may be included with (EN 343) water penetration resistance tests.

Clothing claimed to protect against cool temperatures and for the European market falls within the scope of the European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive (Council Directive 89/686/EEC) as ‘simple’ category PPE – sometimes referred to as ‘category 1 PPE’. Nevertheless, garments which may be certified to other standards, such as EN ISO 20471 (high visibility) and EN 11612 (protection against heat and flame), may also require testing to EN 14058 if additional claims for protection against cool environments are being made.

Testing to EN 14058

The principal and only non-optional test for protective qualities in EN 14058 is thermal resistance (Rct), which has three classes. The optional thermal tests are ‘effective thermal insulation’ (Icle – static manikin) and ‘resultant thermal insulation’ (Icler – moving manikin). Thermal resistance materials above 0.25m2 K/W are normally used in a cold environment (EN 342). Of course, a wearer’s body warmth will further depend on other factors, such as additional clothing, wearer activity, wearer fitness and his or her nutrition levels. Any manikin tests use reference clothing which are when necessary replaced by the test garments.

Further optional tests are ‘air permeability’ (wind resistance), ‘resistance to water penetration’ (rain protection) and ‘water vapour resistance’ (breathability and comfort). The ‘resistance to water penetration’ test (a hydrostatic head test), has two performance levels. Clothing that is claimed to have this optional property must also be breathable and pass a water vapour resistance test for the complete ensemble – outer, insulation, lining. This test uses a skin model test apparatus as detailed in EN 31092 (ISO 11092).

Clothing claimed to meet EN 14058:2004 is marked with a pictogram (figure 1) which displays the performance recorded in the various EN 14058 tests – thermal insulation values, air permeability class and, if relevant, the resistance to water penetration classification. Where no testing is carried out for optional clauses, an ‘X’ is used to confirm this.


Figure 1: Pictogram for clothing which is claimed to meet the requirements of EN 14058:2004

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