The purpose of this document is to assist employers (or the person who advises the employer such as suppliers of PPE or services, inspection, insurance companies, etc.) in taking the necessary decisions regarding the selection, use, care and maintenance (SUCAM) of advanced garments and ensembles of garments that provide protection against heat and flame, with integrated smart textiles and smart non-textile elements for enhanced health, safety and survival capabilities that are compliant with the European legislation.
This document supports developers and manufacturers in designing and producing garments with smart textiles and smart non-textile elements that will meet the user’s needs during the whole life cycle of the garment and comply with standard requirements set for protective clothing on use, care and maintenance up to and including the disposal of the protective gear.
This document is not exhaustive in addressing all the safety concerns associated with the use of compliant protective equipment for protection against heat and flames and other related risks.
It is essential not to construe this document as addressing all the safety concerns, if any, associated with the use of this document by testing or repair facilities. It is the responsibility of the persons and organizations that use this document and any other standards or technical report related to PPE:
- to conduct a risk assessment at the workplace;
- to select the protective clothing and other PPE, including those with smart (intelligent) features, and to verify that the manufacturer has indicated the selected PPE to be suitable for the identified risks at the workplace;
- as well as to ensure that these provide a holistic protection, only when the compatibility has been assessed including understanding the workplace and the work environment to determine the properties of protective clothing against heat and flames to establish health and safety practices;
- to verify that the manufacturer has provided information for risk assessment of the potential risks that may occur due to the smart (intelligent) features in the intended working environment, and that the manufacturer has suggested measurements to compensate such new risks, whilst the employer has to ensure that these measurements are brought to action;
- and to determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to using this document for any designing, manufacturing, and testing.
This document is meant for all end users that are using smart garments for protection against heat and flame. It contains information that can also be useful to other people, such as manufacturers, designers, service providers and educators who may be confronted with smart garments used to protect against heat and flame risks although it will focus on the first four in the list below:
- petrochemical and chemical industry;
- welders and foundries;
- utilities (electrical, gas, water);
- firefighters and emergency response;
- sports (motor sports, boating, etc.);
- security forces (military, police and private).
It is essential that nothing herein restricts any jurisdiction from exceeding the minimum requirements as provided in the relevant standards.
This document is not intended to cover the aspects related to data security and privacy. For employers using smart garments that monitor and/or collect data, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, Regulation (EU) 2016/679) and national regulations can apply. It is essential that the smart protective garments are selected, used, taken care and maintained in a way that will neither compromise the safety and privacy of the user nor the security of the enterprise or authority using the smart garment systems.