IFA - a test and certification body for personal protective equipment as defined by the EC directive 89/686/EEC

Several ear-muff hearing protectors

Realistic bending tests on the headbands of ear-muff hearing protection
Source: IFA

Nearly all the Personal protective equipment (PPE) available on the European common market must be certified by a notified test body according to the market-harmonising regulations of the EU-PPE directive 89/686/EEC. IFA was notified by the Commission of the European Union and registered under the ID number 0121. Very basic products, such as gloves for dish washing or gardening, are exempt from the requirement for certification.

The manufacturer/seller of PPE has the right (and the obligation) to label the product with the CE mark only upon presenting an EC  certificate in compliance with the named directive.

With the CE mark, the manufacturer/seller declares fulfilment of all safety requirements described in Annex II of the PPE directive (declaration of conformity). In the case of PPE that protects against mortal hazards or serious and irreversible damage to health (next stage, category III), the CE mark also displays the registration number of the notified body surveying the production of that particular manufacturer (for IFA: CE 0121).

PPE certification is preceded by comprehensive material, design, and functional tests in specialised laboratories which are in most cases determined by European standards. The development of appropriate testing procedures for PPE requires the comprehensive experience that is gained from practical everyday usage at a number of different workplaces. This is a requirement that IFA fulfils particularly well due to its duties as a versatile consulting institute serving the German institutions for statutory accident insurance and prevention.

The expertise of the IFA test body is described in the authorizations of the Central Office of Safety Technology of the Länder (ZLS) and their records.

New recognition

IFA (former BGIA) is recognized by SAI Global as test laboratory for filtering respirators in accordance with the Australian standard AS/NZS 1716:2003. Products may be tested against this standard by IFA.