UKCA PPE Marking Standards – What That Means For You.

ukca-regulations

UKCA PPE marking news has been updated this week.

The British Government have this week announced an extension to when the new UKCA mark will come into mandatory use. Initially, the deadline for companies acquiring UKCA certification for their products was 1 January 2022, but has now been extended to January 2023. This is likely to be the final extension.

What is the UKCA mark, and what does it mean for PPE?

Please read this article examining the latest information regarding changes to the UKCA and CE marking of PPE for the UK and European markets.

About UKCA and CE Marking

The CE (Conformitè Europëenne) mark is mandatory conformity mark in the EU that has been used since 1985, for the purpose of regulating the goods sold within the European Economic Area (EEA). It is used to:

ce-marking
  • Show that the manufacturer has checked that their products meet EU health, safety or environmental requirements.
  • Indicate a product’s compliance with EU legislation.
  • Allow the free movement of products within the European market.

Not all products must bear the CE marking, only those product categories subject to specific standards. One of these such categories is Personal Protective Equipment.

As part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the UK is no longer part of the EEA, meaning that the CE mark is no longer mandatory for the UK market. However, to ensure that goods sold in the UK continue to be regulated UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking is being introduced for goods being sold in Great Britain. The UKCA marking applies to most goods previously subject to the CE marking. The technical requirements you must meet, and the assessment processes and standards used, are also largely the same as they were for the CE marking. Businesses wishing to continue selling goods into the EEA or Northern Ireland, as well as in GB, must apply both the UKCA and CE marks to their products.

(Source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-marking.)

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What does that mean for Cleanroom Supplies?

Many aspects of UKCA PPE and CE marking will remain the same; the main difference being that UKCA PPE only applies to products sold in the UK. Technical requirements and standards for products will remain alike.

Now that the United Kingdom is no longer obliged to enforce EU legislation, there are new requirements for the marking of personal protective equipment (PPE). Currently, all PPE products sold at Cleanroom Supplies conform to existing CE standards.

However, even despite the recently extended deadline for acquiring UKCA certification, Cleanroom Supplies are well on track to receiving UKCA certification for our PPE range by December 2021. This means that all our PPE products will have both the new UKCA and existing CE marks as a guarantee that the products comply with the appropriate health, safety and environmental standards for both UK and EU markets.

In addition to our disposable CAT III coveralls, all of the following accessories will satisfy CAT III PPE, for partial body protection Type PB [6] for both UKCA and CE for salw within the UK and EU Countries.

What this means:

Type PB [6] refers to products within the Type 6 category that provide partial body protection. Please read below for more information on PPE types and categories.

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More Information on PPE Regulations

Depending on the level of risk that protective clothing is designed to protect against PPE, is assigned to one of three categories:

Category I – Simple protective equipment, ideal for use in a low-risk environment.

Category II – Protective clothing that protects the wearer against hazards; does not fall under category I or II.

Category III – Protects the wearer against potentially fatal hazards or serious damage to health, required for use in high-risk environments.

Cleanroom Supplies stocks PPE under all categories, Category III being our most common. Category III is referred to as ‘complex’ PPE, since it protects against high level risks that can cause serious damage to health. Currently, such types of PPE sold in the UK and EU must conform to EN (European) standards to prove that they are suitable for use in high-risk environments.

Below is a table description of the EN standards that our category III garments & accessories must comply to. By January 2023, UKCA marking will be a mandatory requirement for most companies selling products in the UK, however the standards of quality and protection will remain the same across PPE products sold in both the UK and EU markets.

ppe-european-conformity-standards
(Image: Current EN Conformity Standards for Products in the PPE Category).

If you would like to read in more detail about our different types of PPE, the regulatory standards and their uses, then you can read more in our Coverall and Lab Coat Selection Guide. Click the link below to see more.

selection-guide-cleanroom-supplies

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-marking

https://www.bsigroup.com/globalassets/localfiles/en-gb/product-certification/ukca/ukca-ppe-factsheet-engb-0121final.pdf

https://www.conformance.co.uk/ukca/ukca-mark-information-advice


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