Which standards and regulations must be observed?
In Germany, the following standards and regulations generally apply with regard to particle-filtering half masks:
- Occupational health examinations G26
- EN 149:2001 + A1 2009: Respiratory protective devices – Filtering half masks to protect against particles
- BGR 190: Use of respiratory devices
- TRGS 900: Occupational exposure limits
Occupational health examinations G26
The provisions of G26 examinations establish three respirator protection classes, according to the weight and breathing resistance of the device:
- Group 1: Device weight up to 3 kg and breathing resistance up to 5 mbar
- Group 2: Device weight up to 5 kg and breathing resistance over 5 mbar
- Group 3: Device weight over 5 kg and breathing resistance over 5 mbar
All uvex particle-filtering masks are classified as Group 1 devices, as they weigh less than 3 kg and the breathing resistance is far under the 5 mbar limit.
Ideally, employers should offer occupational health examinations for Group 1 respirators and these are mandatory for Group 2 and 3 respirators.
More detailed information can be obtained from the German Statutory Accident Insurance Association (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung, DGUV).
DIN EN 149:2001 + A1 2009: Respiratory protective devices – filtering half masks to protect against particles
The EN 149 standard established three protection classes (FFP = Filtering Face Piece):
- FFP1 with a filter performance of at least 80%
- FFP2 with a filter performance of at least 94%
- FFP3 with a filter performance of at least 99%
In addition, the standard stipulates different requirements with regard to the mask’s sealed fit (maximum leakage) and other additional specifications, such as the maximum permissible breathing resistance for the different protection classes.
The standard regulates the minimum requirements – all uvex products significantly exceed these, ensuring the highest possible levels of comfort and safety for wearers.
BGR 190: Use of respiratory devices
BGR 190 defines the accident protection directive “Principles of Prevention” (BGV/GUV-V A1) for the use of respiratory protection. It takes into account the regulations set out in the German Occupational Safety and Health Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz) and the Ordinance on the Use of PPE (PSA-Benutzungsverordnung).
The regulations were compiled in collaboration with the “application” working group of the DIN Standards Committee for Precision Mechanics and Optics’ research group focusing on “respiratory devices for employees and rescue workers”. In doing so, the DIN and EN standards for respiratory protection were taken into account, as was DIN EN 529: “Respiratory protective devices – recommendations for selection, use, care and maintenance”.
It is available free of charge here (in German): http://publikationen.dguv.de/dguv/pdf/10002/r-190.pdf
TRGS 900: Occupational exposure limits
The Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances (TRGS) reflect the state of technology, occupational health and hygiene as well as other accepted scientific developments relating to activities involving hazardous substances, such as their classification and labelling. The Committee on Hazardous Substances (AGS) establishes the rules and adapts these in line with developments.
The TRGS are published by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) in the Joint Ministerial Gazette (GMBI).
The TRGS 900 are available free of charge here (in German): http://www.baua.de/cae/servlet/contentblob/666762/publicationFile/55588/TRGS-900.pdf