Assess the Risk Levels

Assess the Risk Levels

European standards of eye and face protection for welding

  • In Europe, all personal protective equipment must be CE marked and in compliance with the PPE Directive 89/686/ EEC before they can be placed on the market. To show compliance with the basic requirements in the PPE Directive, the product can be certified to applicable, national, harmonized standards.

    Welding helmets incorporating protective filters are covered by the standards EN 175, EN 166, EN 169 (passive filters) and EN 379 (auto-darkening filters).

  • Other Worker Health & Safety Resources

    Welding Safety Centre
    Eye Hazards
    How to select the right helmet

Mechanical strength

In EN 175 and EN 166, the PPE is classified according to its mechanical strength:

  • Note: products classified in class B are not made to give total protection under all possible circumstances,e.g. when using grinding wheels/grinding machines

In addition there are classifications regarding field of use

Optical performance

For the standards EN 166 and EN 379, optical quality of the welding filter or faceshield are classified from 1 to 3, where 1 is the best. For passive welding filters and visors, there is only one classification of optical class. For auto-darkening welding filters, there are four parts of the classification: optical class/diffusion of light/variations in luminous transmittance/angular dependence.

3M welding filters are marked with the shade range and optical classifications. Note! The following is an example from the 3M™ Speedglas™ Welding Filter SL (EN 379). Valid classification is marked on the welding filter.

How to read the welding filter marking

As shown in the illustration below, each of our welding filters is marked with the model’s specific shade range and optical classification:
Filter Markings

For more details on European Standards contact you National Standards Institute.

Step 3

Continue to step 3 for a general outline of 3M™ Welding Helmets and Filters for your welding applications.