KAN Report 19
|Standardization of PPE for protection against electrical risks, 11/1998, D. Zimmermann (255 KB)|
Bookmarks in the pdf file link directly to the individual chapters.
Approx. 240 mandated PPE standards have been prepared in support of Directive 89/686/EEC, mainly at European level by CEN. Information on these standards can be found in KAN Report 12.
In support of the same directive, standards specifying requirements concerning PPE for "protection against electrical risks and dangerous voltages" are prepared by CENELEC/TC 78 "Equipment and tools for live working".
Two types of electrical hazard must be considered:
- current flow through the body (e.g. by touching parts which are live under normal operating conditions),
- electric arc caused by insulation failures (e.g. by operations, especially switching operations under load).
According to Article 8 of the PPE Directive (89/686/EEC), all items of PPE "for protection against electrical risks and dangerous voltages" are complex PPE, i.e. Category III PPE.
This study is concerned with PPE for protection against these hazards. The study
- established the current state of standardization,
- evaluated the OH&S level in standards and pointed out shortcomings and
- examined the suitability of standards as a basis for the PPE type examination.
The analysis of standardization in the field of PPE is based on three sources:
- specialist literature,
- standards, draft standards and the working documents of standards bodies,
- interviews with experts (PPE manufacturers, test bodies, statutory accident insurance institutions, users and authorities).
Existing standards, draft standards and standardization projects are listed and the results of the survey presented for the different PPE types. Shortcomings with regard to the product-related occupational health and safety of individual standards and draft standards are listed in tabular form.
Assessment of the Directive
- The formulation "Schutz gegen Stromschläge" (Annex II, Section 3.8) of the current German version of the Directive does not take sufficient account of the hazards of electric arc. The title should more precisely read "Schutz gegen Risiken der Elektrizität". In connection with paragraph 1 of point 3.8 of the English version of the Directive, all risks, including electric arc, would then be covered.
Assessment of standards
- The majority of standards prepared by CENELEC are test standards. Requirements concerning the product (non-electrical, electrical ...) have only been included in more recent draft standards. The standards do not establish a link between tests and the requirements of the Directive.
- Some standards contain requirements which both increase the protection level of the product and influence quality assurance in accordance with the Directive.
- Combinations of PPE are not listed in standards. The combination of face protection screen and helmet can be considered critical as not every screen can be attached to every helmet (and vice versa). Standards drafted by CEN must take account of the combined use of PPE.
- As in KAN Report 12, the lack of uniform requirements concerning the essential contents of information booklets is criticized.
- The essential principles of the safety requirements specified hitherto in DIN VDE standards have been adopted in European standardization. Standards do not take sufficient account of the ergonomic design of products.
- The attempt made by CENELEC to bring its most recent standards into line with the existing set of CEN standards can be seen as a positive development. PPE CEN/TCs are involved in the preparation of standards.
The results of the study show that there is a need for action in some areas to revise standards/draft standards as well as the Directive.
Cooperation between PPE CEN/TCs and CENELEC/TC 78 should be improved further.
KAN's recommendations based on the study
The report provides a good overview of the current state of standardization at the time of the study. The detailed list of standards and their shortcomings provides a practical guide for the revision of standards.
Need for action from DIN
1. DIN is requested to pass on the study in a suitable form to European standards bodies via the German reflecting committees (NPS; NAFuO; DKE UK 214.3). The results would then be available for work on standards/draft standards and the routine revision of standards.
2. DIN NPS is requested to point out to European standards bodies that PPE standards should pay greater attention to the suitability of PPE for combined use in order to comply with the requirement of Directive 89/686/EEC, Annex II, 1.3.3 "Compatibility of different classes or types of PPE desigend for simultaneous use".
3. DIN NPS is requested to do what it can at European level to extend the responsibilities of the CEN Consultant for PPE to include PPE standards prepared by CENELEC.
4. DIN NPS is requested to call upon the CEN Rapporteur for PPE to improve cooperation between CEN/TCs and CENELEC/TCs and to make the exchange of information on current work more efficient in order, for example, to avoid duplicate work.
5. DIN NPS and DKE UK 214.3 are requested to work towards ensuring consistent terminology in CEN and CENELEC standards (in German, for example, the "EG-Baumusterprüfung" is called "Typprüfung" in the CENELEC PPE standards). As a general rule, the terminology in PPE Directive 89/686/EEC should be used; a comparative list of terminology could be a useful step.
6. DIN NPS and DKE UK 214.3 are requested to call upon CENELEC to overrule the decision taken by the Joint President Group (89th CENELEC/BT meeting) by adding an informative annex ZA to CENELEC standards for PPE in which the sections of the standard are assigned to the corresponding sections of PPE Directive 89/686/EEC in order to produce uniform and more user-friendly PPE standards.
7. DIN is requested to call upon CENELEC to make sure that PPE product standards only contain requirements which increase the protection level of the product, but have no effect on the inspection of the finished PPE in accordance with Directive 89/686/EEC.
Need for action from the BMA
8. The BMA is requested to continue to call upon the European Commission to find a solution for the problems of interpretation concerning Directive 89/686/EEC that have been described in the study.
Need for action from the social partners
9. The social partners are requested to work towards making sure that the users of PPE participate more closely in standards work so that their experiences and problems with products can be incorporated into ongoing work.
Need for action from the KAN secretariat
10. The KAN secretariat is asked to submit concrete comments to DIN in accordance with recommendations 1-7.
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