Under the directive 89/686/EEC defining the rules for personal protection equipment flow within the European Union and general safety requirements, personal protection equipment was classified in three categories (with regard to applicable hazards):

Category III

PPE protecting against serious hazards causing death or irreversible damage to heath, i.e.

  • substances and mixtures detrimental to health,
  • biological factors,
  • ionising radiation,
  • hot environment (+100°C),
  • cold environment (-50°C),
  • falls from height,
  • electric shock,
  • works under voltage,
  • drowning,
  • injuries caused by portable saw chain,
  • high pressure jets,
  • gun shots or stabbing wounds,
  • detrimental noise.

Category I

Personal protection equipment protecting against minimal threats only:

  • superficial mechanical wounds,
  • contact with weak cleaning agents or prolonged contact with water
  • contact with hot surfaces of temperature below 50°C
  • eyesight damage as a result of exposure to sunlight (other than during sun observation)
  • weather conditions which are not of extreme nature

Category II

PPE protecting against hazards other than listed in category I and III.