Competitiveness - Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs

Personal protective equipment - Gas appliances – Cableways: new safety harmonised rules

On 7 October 2015, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Council (Coreper) endorsed the agreements between the Luxembourg presidency and European Parliament representatives for updating internal market rules for personal protective equipment, gas appliances and cableways to further enhance consumer safety and ensure a level playing field for companies.

The new rules are also intended to improve market surveillance by public authorities without imposing unnecessary burdens and costs on industry.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economics of Luxembourg Etienne Schneider said: "I am convinced that internal market policy and consumer protection policies are intrinsically linked and should go hand-in-hand. The agreements on these new rules are an excellent example of the application of the principles of Better Regulation that the Luxembourg presidency is committed to promote within the single market".

Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment is designed to protect against all kinds of hazards (e.g. heat, flames, chemicals, flying particles, mechanical shocks, etc.) occurring in different environments, be it at home, at work or doing sports.

Examples include: head/ear/eye protection (helmets, earmuffs, glasses), breathing protection (gas and dust masks), body protection (clothing providing protection from chemicals, motorcycle outfits and high-visibility jackets), hand/leg/foot protection (gardening gloves, knee pads, safety shoes). Oven gloves are included in the scope of the new regulation; however, dishwashing gloves for private use will remain out of the scope.

The new regulation will update the current rules under directive 89/686/EEC. They apply to each individual item intended to be placed and/or put into service on the EU market for the first time.

They set out the health and safety requirements and establish the conformity assessment procedures to be complied with by manufacturers. The procedures depend on the severity of the risk involved. The "CE marking" is affixed on products which comply with these harmonised essential health and safety requirements.

Gas appliances

The objective of the new regulation is to ensure that gas appliances and their fittings fulfil harmonised requirements providing for a high level of protection of the health and safety of persons, domestic animals and property and for a rational use of energy.

Typical appliances burning gaseous fuels include boilers, gas cookers/ovens/barbecues and patio heaters.

Under the new regulation both gas appliances and fittings will receive a standard EU declaration of performance and come thus under the same regime.

The regulation will update the current rules under the Gas Appliances Directive (2009/142/EC). They apply to appliances to be placed on the EU market and/or put into service for the first time.

Cableway installations

The main types of cableway installations are funiculars, gondolas, detachable chair lifts, fixed-grip chair lifts, aerial tramways, funitels, combined installations (made of several cableway types, such as those of gondolas and chairlifts) and drag lifts.

Their safety, environmental and market compliance requirements are currently covered by directive 2000/9/EC. Traction by cable and the passenger transport function are the principal criteria determining the scope of the directive, which is applicable to installations built and put into service as from 3 May 2004.

The new regulation will replace directive 2000/9/EC in order to ensure greater consistency across the EU harmonisation legislation for industrial products.

Cableway installations are unique products adapted to the local conditions and linked to a fixed infrastructure and mobile machinery. Safety components and subsystems are subject to the rules on the free movement of goods and to the conformity assessment and Declaration of Conformity.

Next steps

The three regulations will be submitted to a first-reading vote in the European Parliament and a formal adoption by the Council before their publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

  • Updated 07-10-2015