PPE - what is it?

Ppe - what is it?

For Solognac, safety is our obsession, a vital part of the hunting experience. We consider and implement it on several levels: there is safety via equipment such as textiles to protect against unruly vegetation, goggles, earphones, fluorescent orange PPE, etc. and of course the basic safety rules such as shooting angle, visibility, and gun handling, etc.

It is precisely because of our commitment to safety that we wanted to initiate the French standard for "orange fluo - PPE". This defines the requirements and test methods for visual clothing suitable for hunting.

PPE security winter drive hunts

What is it?

Indeed, since 2011, fluorescent orange clothing deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the field of visibility was not suitable for hunting. The standard required, for example, that products be designed with reflective strips, which, let's face it, are not very suitable for hunting. The standard did not take into account the need to conceal the hunter's silhouette with camouflage. 

Solognac tackled the issue head on by initiating collaborative work with the French Association for Standardisation (AFNOR) with the aim of creating a legal reference for the hunting market. Felisbela Costa, our product engineer at Solognac, led this standardisation effort. This was achieved in 2014. The next step is to raise it to European level.

What does the standard address?

It only covers upper body products, i.e. jackets, short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, and jackets. It does not take into account all the lower items such as trousers, chaps, and shoes, nor accessories such as caps and hats. this is because these elements alone cannot ensure sufficient visibility to ensure safety.

There is a notion of a fluorescent coloured surface that needs to be considered, knowing that the sleeves do not count. Now, stay with me here! The fluorescent orange must be present on the front and back of the product, divided into 4 zones. The surfaces must be fluorescent orange over 80cm² in each of these areas. A diagram might be more telling!

PPE standard diagram

How can we ensure camouflage with all this?

We cannot compromise on a standard and we cannot sacrifice efficiency when hunting, so we had to adapt.

In calculating the 80cm², it is the fluorescent orange that matters, so a tree or branch shape is deducted. This is how the so-called realistic camouflage and the rock camo were developed. 

This is also the reason why we cannot design PPE products with all camouflages, furtiv for example is not compatible. However, as you might expect, we are looking for a new camouflage that will be!

PPE - what is it?

In the end, what are the guarantees provided by the ppe standard?

Because a standard is a guarantee of quality but above all of precise specifications, the PPE standard for hunting products is no exception.

Here are the guarantees:

> high visibility of standardised fluorescent colours

> fabric resistance

> colourfastness over time

> stability when washed.

> Ergonomics and comfort of the garments

> no harmful elements for the skin and health, mandatory on all Decathlon products.

It is not Solognac that certifies its products. We conceive and design them in compliance with the standard. Once they are ready and tested, we send them to a European notified body that checks the various points to be respected in accordance with the NF S-74 567 standard that meets the European regulation EU 2016/425 - Annex V. It is this body that is responsible for PPE certification.

NB: today, 39 products in the Solognac range are PPE standardised. There were 9 in 2011 and 24 in 2017. 

If a product is PPE, this label

will always be present. PPE products must be CE marked, similar to the CE marking we find on toys as a guarantee of safety.

In order to prolong the life of your PPE products, we recommend the following care instructions:

> Store them away from light in a dry place. Direct and prolonged contact with the sun will alter the fluorescent properties of the orange. Do not leave them in the sun on the seat of your car.
> wash them at a maximum of 30° and use only a little detergent. 
> for drying, prefer the reverse side of the product.

I hope that visibility no longer holds any secrets for you!