Workwear Off-duty Personal Protective Equipment Footwear

AS/NZS 4399:2017 

SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

AS/NZS 4399:2017 supersedes AS/NZS 4399:1996.

Protective clothing that provides protection against solar ultraviolet radiation exposure (UVA and UVB).

This Standard is intended to provide information to the consumer on the relative capability of materials and items of clothing to provide protection against solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR).

This information is provided to the consumer in the form of a labelling scheme based on an objective, reproducible test method.

This standard is used to determine the ultraviolet protection factor of textiles and similar materials (e.g., protective films) in a new conditions without real usage.

What are the major changes in the revised standard?

Major changes in the 2017 edition of the standard are:

  • A minimum level of body coverage is required for clothing to display or claim a UPF rating
  • A revised UPF classification system and labelling requirements
  • Minimum requirements for hats, gloves, and accessories

The standard excludes clothing with low body coverage, such as bikini swimwear, from making any sun protection claims regardless of the UPF rating of the material that the clothing is made from. Other excluded items due to inadequate body coverage include singlets, crop tops, halter tops, and briefs.

What are the changes to the UPF classification system?

The classification system has been reduced to just four UPF ratings from the nine protection categories in the 1996 edition. The names of the protection categories have also changed and are now called ‘classifications.

UPF rating Classification % UV radiation blocked
15 Minimum 93.3
30 Good 96.7
50, 50+ Excellent 98

What are the minimum requirements for hats, gloves, and accessories?

Gloves, wraps, blankets, helmet flaps and women’s one-piece swimsuits may be promoted as being sun protective depending on design. Gloves are only considered sun protective if they cover the entire back of the hand to the wrist.

The revised standard specifies three types of hats which are considered sun protective —bucket hats, legionnaire hats and broad-brimmed hats which have brims wider than a specified minimum width (the diagram below is from the standard). There is allowance for alternative types of hats which fulfil certain protection requirements. Caps and sun visors are excluded.

Note: In Australia, the sun protective clothing standard has been revised as: AS 4399:2020, however Standards New Zealand did not have New Zealand manufacturers or retailers’ express interest in participating in the review and thus the revised standard did not include Standards New Zealand and the AS/NZS 4399:2017 remains current in New Zealand.

EN342:2017 Certified Products

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