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):
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,
- injuries caused by portable saw chain,
- high pressure jets,
- gun shots or stabbing wounds,
- detrimental noise.
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
PPE protecting against hazards other than listed in category I and III.