Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment includes any equipment that can be worn on as clothing or footwear, on top of your head or in your hands, in order to protect your life and health. The most common personal protective equipment for regular consumers includes reflectors and reflector vests, sunglasses ja helmets.

Although you cannot test the personal protective equipment’s conformity with its requirements, there are some things you should know when choosing this type of products.

Reflectors and reflector vests
The sole goal of reflectors and reflector vests is to protect you when you are out and about in the dark.
 

Pay attention to the marking of the reflector. The labelling on pedestrian reflectors has to include name of the product, information about the manufacturer, CE marking, reference to the standard that establishes requirements of the reflector’s quality (reflection characteristics, size of the reflecting surface), and instructions in Estonian. Reflector vest labelling has to include size and care markings in addition to the aforementioned information.

Always prefer bigger reflectors to smaller ones. Make sure that the writing or printed picture on the reflector would not be so large as to cover the entire surface of the reflector.

If you have any suspicions that the reflector does not comply with its requirements or has insufficient labelling, be sure to inform the Consumer Protection Board.

Sunglasses
The task of sunglasses is to protect the user’s eyes from UV radiation.
 

Check the marking of the sunglasses. The labelling should be on the frame, label or packaging.

The marking should give you information about the protection level of the sunglasses. According to the European Standard, sunglasses are divided into four filter categories (0-4). Sunglasses in the zero category let in the most light and UV radiation, those in the fourth category let in the least.

The labelling of sunglasses has to have the CE marking.

The letter N of the marking refers to glass lenses that are made of regular plastic or mineral glass, and protect from UV radiation. The letter P refers to polarized glass lenses that are made of plastic or mineral glass. The letter F stands for photochromic lenses that darken automatically in accordance with the level of UV radiation.

Try the sunglasses on. Make sure that the sunglasses fit you tightly so that they would also provide protection from radiation coming in from the sides. Try on different glasses and pick those that best suit the shape of your face.

Helmets
It is recommended to wear a helmet when skateboarding, riding a bike or roller skates. Cyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet.
 

Check the marking of the helmet. The marking of a helmet has to include, among other things, name of the brand or manufacturer, intended use of the particular model, size or size range of the helmet (head circumference in centimetres), helmet weight, CE marking.

The helmet has to be marked in a way that the information on it would remain readable throughout the entire lifecycle.

Try the helmet on. A helmet has to protect you from potential harm (head injuries in the case of falling), its inner surface should let your skin breathe and the helmet should not restrict your field of vision or move from its initial position. 

Remember!
  • All personal protective equipment is required to include an instruction manual in Estonian.
  • Do not assess a reflector based on its price, instead focus on whether it complies with marking requirements and whether the size of the reflector seems to match the allowed measurements.
  • A reflector is required to have 15-50 square centimetres of reflective surface per side.
  • Sunglasses of the 0 filter category are suitable for cloudy weathers, 1st category glasses are for semi-clouded weather, 2nd category classes are good for medium level sunlight, 3rd category glasses for high level sunlight, and 4th category glasses are to be used in the case of extremely strong sunlight (among snow, on sea, in high mountain altitudes).
  • Sunglasses of the 4th category are not suitable for use when driving, as they let too little light pass through and are too dark.
  • The markings on a helmet must include a text warning that children should not climb while wearing the helmet or carry out other activities where there is a risk of getting stuck with the helmet.