EN 14404 "Knee protection in the kneeling position" was published and came into effect in February 2005. It defines knee protection as personal safety equipment (PPE) according to guideline 98/686/EEC.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT is legally defined as: "...devices and means that are meant for defence against and reduction of dangers to a person's health and safety, and which are worn on the body or parts of the body..."
For the implementation of EN 14404 certain requirements and test procedures were laid down. An accredited and certified testing centre must conduct a type examination and attest that the product complies with the requirements of EU guideline 98/686/EEC and thus also with EN 14404.
Typ 1: Knee protection that is independent from other clothes and is fastened to the leg,
Typ 2: Knee protection that is inserted for example into pockets in trouser legs,
Typ 3: Equipment that is not fastened to the body,
Typ 4: Knee protection that is part of other devices with additional functions, i.e. a frame to help you get to your feet.
Furthermore two levels of performance are defined:
Level 1: for work on level surfaces
Level 2: for work in severe conditions, for instance kneeling on stones in mines and quarries.
The standard lays down minimum values for the dimensions of the zones of protection, as well as mechanical requirements such as penetration resistance, force distribution and the peak transmitted force in impact. In addition requirements for the means of restraint and for comfort during use are specified. Requirements for the labelling of knee protectors and the information supplied by the manufacturer (to ensure that the protectors are used as intended) are also given.