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Personal protective equipment provides protection against accidents involving a person’s head, face, eyes, ears, hands and feet. In the Netherlands, employers must make such equipment available to their employees free of charge according to Article 3 of the Working Conditions Act. The equipment must comply with the Personal Protective Equipment (Commodities Act) Decree (Warenwetbesluit persoonlijke beschermingsmiddelen 2018).
There are three categories of personal protective equipment:
- Protection against mild risks (Category I)
- Protection against average risks (Category II)
- Protection against serious risks (Category III)
The safety requirements differ according to category. Manufacturers, representatives and importers must indicate which risks the products offer protection against and the product’s risk group category.
Use of personal protective equipment
As the employer, you must provide your employees with proper information on how to use and maintain the personal protective equipment. Your risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E) must contain a description of the personal protective equipment required. The equipment is always a supplement to measures taken to minimalise risks. This includes good maintenance of equipement and the replacement of old equipment.
Technical requirements on crash helmets
The technical requirements imposed by the Netherlands on helmets for drivers and passengers of a motor scooter or a motorcycle differ from those in other EU Member States. If a helmet is already permitted in another EU Member State, the Dutch government may only prohibit its sale in the Netherlands in exceptional cases.