Certified safety and quality
It is essential to wear certified garments in professional roles with demanding environments, as their protective and high visibility features protect the health and lives of those wearing them. Certified workwear must undergo a multi-stage approval procedure, during which the materials are tested to meet strict quality standards.
If you would like to know more about the certification standards, please contact our sales team.
Our certified products comply with the following European EN standards for safety and quality:
- EN 20471:2013 High-visibility clothing for professional use.
- EN 1149–5 Protective clothing, electrostatic properties, material and model requirements.
- EN ISO 11612 Protective clothing against heat and flame.
- EN ISO 11611 Protective clothing for use in welding and allied processes.
- EN 13034, Type 6 Protective clothing against liquid chemicals.
- EN 343 Protective clothing – protection against rain.
- EN 342 Protective clothing – outfits and garments for protection against cold.
- IEC 61482-2:2009 Protective clothing against the thermal hazards of an electric arc.
As of the 30th of September 2013, the EN 471 standard was replaced by the EN ISO 20471 standard for high visibility clothing for professional use. However, high visibility clothing complying with standard EN 471 may still be manufactured, sold and used.
An example of safety clothing certification process (EN ISO 20471: High visibility clothing)
- Fabric certification: the supplier of materials certifies the fabric, which must comply with the EN standard (the duration of this process can be several months).
- Contrast colour test: the test is performed if some areas of the garment are covered with a dark-coloured fabric (usually in areas where dirt is most likely to build up, such as the midriff). There are strict requirements about the amount of colour bleeding allowed between the high visibility and contrast materials, i.e. residues of the contrast colour must not stain the high visibility materials. Due to problems with colour bleeding, some materials cannot be used together, which is why many of the garments are made in a monochrome colour, such as yellow.
- Product design: the garment must have a specific amount of reflectors or fluorescent materials in designated places. For example, the distribution of hi-vis materials over the front and back of a garment must be 50/50, with a maximum deviation of 10%. It is not possible to fulfill the criteria in every type of safety wear, and that is why class 3 trousers are not available at all, for instance. The reflective material must be certified and laid out in a particular manner (for example, it encircles the torso with no more than a 5cm long gap without the reflective material).
- Certification of the garment: type examinations and certifications are performed by SGS Fimko Ltd, Notified Body No 0598 (the duration of this process can be several months).
- Manufacture of the garment
The EN ISO 20471 standard is divided into three classes. Class 3 offers optimum visibility and is used in traffic control, for example, while Class 2 is the most common category, and many employers require at least the top half of the body to be covered with Class 2 high-vis clothing. Most Dimex garments for the upper body are classified as Class 2, and trousers as Class 1. When Class 1 and 2 are combined, the overall visibility is close to Class 3.
The certificates indicate the maximum number of washes after which the product is supposed to retain its safety properties. However, common sense must be applied when assessing whether the garment is still safe to use or not: if the dirt on the reflective surface does not come off in the wash, the product no longer complies with certification criteria, even though the maximum amount of wash cycles has not yet been reached.
Standards for flame-retardant garments (EN ISO 11611, EN ISO 11612)
Flame-retardant fabric is resistant to catching fire and also self-extinguishing i.e. it will cease to burn once the source of the flame has been removed. However, this does not mean that the material is completely non-combustible, as holes or discolouration might also appear on flame-retardant fabric and reduce its protective properties.
Fabric can be made flame-retardant in three different ways: treating it after it has been woven, dipping the fabric into a chemical solution, or making the garment inherently flame-retardant during the weaving process. During the post-treatment process, the fabric is chemically treated after it has been woven, for example by spraying flame retardants on it. The flame retardants work by coating the flammable fabric with a barrier that wears off over time and can be washed off. That is why Dimex clothes are made with either fabric that has been dipped in fire-retardant chemicals, or with inherently protective fabric that has a certain percentage of chemically flame-retardant fibers woven in. When garments are made using these techniques, the flame-retardant properties are intrinsically present in the fiber’s polymer structure and cannot be lost, even if the garment is washed repeatedly.