European Standards

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. The PPE must also be in compliance with applicable, national, harmonized standards that ensure that the basic safety requirements in the PPE Directive are met.

In EN 166, it is optional to complement the classification for mechanical strength with the letter (T) for extremes of temperatures (-5° C and +55° C). In addition there are classifications regarding field of use: “9” for protection against splashes of molten metals and penetration of hot solids; “3” for protection against liquids (droplets or splashes); and “8” for protection from electric arcs due to a short circuit in electrical equipment.

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/angle dependence.

Eye injuries are preventable when the proper protection is worn and used accordingly. For example 3M strongly recommends the choice of a welding helmet approved to EN 175:B (resistance to high speed particles) when grinding. You can find the European Standard classification for our products in the specification for each welding helmet. Grinding and mechanical strength For more details on European Standards, or to purchase European Standards, contact your National Standards Institute.