Clothing is a very important element of personal protection, because it covers most of the body, including those parts that are not covered by helmet, shoes or gloves. For instance, overalls, pants, coats and even shirts.
Fabric type and thickness
Representive company style
Thanks to the composition and the qualities of the fabric, clothing offers suitable protection, for instance against fire, chemicals, cold or static charges. In addition, clothing increases visibility, so it provides a way to protect against a variety of risks.
The main standards of protective clothing
EN ISO 20471 (2014) High visibility in fluorescent colors. Depending on the regulation, there are different classes:
Class 1: requires 0.14 m2 fluorescent surface and 0.10 m2 reflecting surface.
Class 2: requires 0.50 m2 fluorescent surface and 0.13 m2 reflecting surface.
Class 3: requires 0.80 m2 fluorescent surface and 0.20 m2 reflecting surface.
(Atex): EN1149-5 (2008) Static electricity
Electrostatic qualities (antistatic standard) consist of the following elements:
• EN1149-1: Surface resistance.
• EN1149-2: Electrical resistance through a material (vertical resistance).
• EN-1149-3: Testing methods for the measurement of charge decay.
• EN1149-3: Testing method for the clothing item (standard is under development).
• EN1149-5: Performance requirements
Clothes that meet this standard can be worn safely in an environment where there is a chance of an explosive atmosphere. And makes sure that no static electricity is created in the clothes that can serve as an ignition source.
EN11612 (2008) (Oud 531) Hittebestendig
Deze norm legt de eisen vast voor beschermkleding voor werknemers blootgesteld aan hitte en vlammen, met uitzondering van lassers en brandweerlui. Het bestaat dan ook uit een aantal testen:
A (ISO 15025) beproevingsmethode voor beperkte vlamverspreiding: A1 of A2
B (ISO 9151) Bepaling van de warmtegeleiding bij blootstelling aan vlammen. Klasse B1-B3
C (ISO 6942) Thermische weerstand: Klasse C1-C4
D (ISO 9185) bescherming tegen spetters van gesmolten aluminium. Klasse D1-D3
E (ISO 9185) bescherming tegen gesmolten ijzer. Klasse e1-e3
F (iso 12127) bescherming tegen contacthitte. Klasse F1-F3
Optioneel WNN (EN 343). Waterdichtheid en waterdoorlaatbaarheid. Klassen 1-3
Staat er een letter niet genoemd, of is de klasse “0” dan is de laagste waarde niet gehaald. Of de test is niet uitgevoerd; de kleding biedt dan geen bescherming tegen deze specifieke eigenschap die met die letter wordt aangeduid.
De EN ISO 11612 is de opvolger van de EN 531.
Protective clothes in low voltage installations. This standard applies to clothes used for the protection of people working in an electrical environment, in which the nominal voltage lies between 500V AC (alternating current) of 750V DC (direct current).
EN ISO 11611:2007 Protective clothing to be used during welding and related processes.
This standards records the requirements for welder’s clothing. It involves clothing that can be worn all day (8 hours) at normal temperatures and offers protection against small spatter of molten metal, accidental flame contact and UV-radiation. It includes a number of different tests.
- A: ISO 6942: Thermic resistance
Expressed in Class 1 or 2: indicates how long the fabric can resist heat up to a certain temperature.
- B: ISO 9150: Resistance to small spatter of molten metal:
Expressed in Class 1 or 2: indicates how many drops of molten metal the fabric can take before the metal penetrates the fabric.
- C: ISO 15025: testing method for limited flame distribution. Expressed in protection levels A1 or A2. The tests are carried out on new fabric and on fabric that has been washed 50x.
- D: EN 1149-2: Insulation against electrical penetration is measured.
- Clothes that meet this standard always have to meet the requirements of the ISO 13688 standard.
- Pockets on the outside have to have a flap that, on both sides, is 10 cm wider than the pocket. With an exception for pockets on the leg, that have been placed behind the lateral seam and that have an opening of 75 mm or less (meter pockets).
- Vertical pockets below the hips with an angle of 10 degrees or less don’t have to have a flap.
- Side pockets always have to have a flap or Velcro, even when they are positioned vertically.
- Metal closures have to be covered on the inside or on the outside.
- Creases have to be avoided.
- Neck openings have to be closed.
- The maximum distance between buttons is 15 cm.
EN ISO 11611 replaces EN 470-1.
EN 14058 Protective clothing against cold environments >5 °C:
The insulation consists of five elements:
a) The thermic resistance (class 1-3).
b) Air permeability on all fabric layers together (class 1-3)
c) Waterproofness: class 1-2 (Optional).
d) Thermic insulation tests using a moving test dummy.
Mentioned as Icler (Optional).
e) Thermic insulation tested using static test dummy. Mentioned as Icle (Optional).
Chemicals: EN 13034+A1
This standard describes clothing that offers protection against liquid chemicals (type 3) and nebulous chemicals (type 4), including products that protect a part of the body (type PB = Parts of body). Available in different types that indicate the level of protection. Due to the complexity of the item, you need to choose carefully and on the basis of sufficient information.
EN 343 Waterproof, protective clothing against rain.
X-value: Waterproofness. Class 1-3
Y-value: Permeability water vapor. Class 1-3
In warm environments with high temperatures, it is important for the Y-value to be higher as well, because the more the clothes are able to breathe, the better they will remove perspiration.
The EN 343 standard falls under 'auto-certification', which means that the product can be certified by the manufacturer, and does not have to be tested by a test institute, because the wearer only risks getting wet and that is not life-threatening. When this standard is used in combination with other standards, the entire combination of standards is tested by the test institute.
EN 342:2004 Protective clothing against cold <5 °C:
This standard includes the requirements and test methods for clothing items designed to protect against a cold environment, characterized by a combination of humidity, wind and an air temperature below -5 °C.
CLO: indicates the insulation value of the model, indicating how long a person can work in these clothing at a certain temperature. It is not expressed in classes, but can be any value.
X: indicates the air permeability of the clothing. For this value, there are 3 classes: classes 1 to 3. At class 1, the clothing allows the most air to pass through, at class 3, the least.
Y: indicates the vapor resistance of the clothing. This value has 3 classes, classes 1 to 3, which class 1 indicating the lowest score and class 3 the highest.
The type of fabric is an important element of the protective qualities of clothes. This varies in:
- Weight/ thickness of the fabric (gram/m2)
- Type of fabric / material (cotton, polyester, etc.)
- Mixture ratios of the fabrics (% per fabric)
- Type of weaving (composition of the fabric)
The type of fabric determines the strength, as well as the level of comfort. A general given is that the thickness and type of fabric largely determine the lifespan of a product, so it is important, when selecting the fabric, to map the work activities involved. A clothing item that has to be used for long time is usually made from tougher materials, which means it is probably less comfortable to wear. The variety of fabric mixtures, thickness and associated standards is so great that we cannot properly address it here. Our PPG advisors can determine for each situation which type of fabric is the most suitable.
The number of wash cycles can be supervised by inserting a barcode in the clothing item. This is registered by our dedicated cleaning partner. When the maximum number of washing cycles has been reached, the clothes are discarded as agreed, to guarantee work safety.
Options for personalization / company style Options clothing packagesStandardized clothing can also be personalized or adapted to your company style. For instance, we can add pockets or zippers to allow your people to work more efficiently or comfortably. By discussing the wishes regarding colors, logos, pockets, etc. in advance, we can provide a customized product. Of course, the options are limited because we need to make sure the clothes continue to meet the relevant standards.
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