Requirements on the protective functions of PPE are becoming increasingly demanding, as the areas and fields in which it is used are diverse and ever-changing. That's why multi-standard PPE is in fashion right now.
Where others talk about multi-standard, we talk about multi-risk or multi-hazard– and for good reason. After all, a large number of standards is not a quality feature per se.
It is worth checking exactly which protective functions are required to decide where the use of multi-risk or multi-hazard products makes sense and when "the specialist" is the better choice.
HB defines Multi-Risk PPE starting with 4 standards, according to which a garment is certified.
The specific area of use is key
If the risks in the workplace are unique to the job at hand, then specialist clothing is generally the better choice as it usually affords better protection against specific dangers. Such clothing frequently has a very focused application – i.e. 1–2 standards but to an exceptionally high degree in their classes – or offers protection according to a special sub-class.
When the risks in the area of use are manifold, a single garment is not only judged by the number of standards that it meets, but also by its combination of the protective functions. Innovative multi-risk PPE is available for many different fields of work. Not only is it extremely comfortable, multi-risk PPE also combines protective qualities that until now have appeared to be incompatible. An example of this is warning and electric arc protection such as Arc & Vis which is made of a light-weight fabric texture or multi-standard clothing in fluorescent orange-red.
In any case, it's vital to perform a thorough inspection of the areas of use and the sources of hazards before purchasing PPE. The only thing that matters when it comes to PPE is that it offers the best-possible protection for the specific workplace, not the number of standards that it meets. That's why when purchasing PPE you should be asking "where is this clothing going to be used, how good is the protection and what does it protect against?" and not "how many standards does this piece of clothing meet?".