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Some words about Company

About us

As the 21st century is started with the new dynamic paradigm in the field of Leather & Textile Motorbike Garments, where the FLASH GEAR is one of the most successful and emerging company which is rapidly knowing all over the globe by its quality products, validity, reliability, and price efficiency.

Company is established by a competent entrepreneurs who fascinated for exploring their innovative ideas in the real and practical form by integrating the modern technology with the new ideas and participation of diverse expertise thus surprising and pleasing the customers by successfully exceeding the needs and wants of the customers.

The aim of the Company is to produce total quality products in accordance to the customers expectations whilst practicing on the philosophies Voice of the Customers and Think and act with Customers in mind.

Having vision for crafting the world market, anticipating futuristic demand and need of the new generation company is desperately focusing on new technologies, concepts, diverse expertise and lean processes and procedures.

Vision & Mission

Mission Statement                        

We are providing the one stop solution for every entity that is striving for total quality, shortest delivery time, reliable manufacturer and exporter through enhancing the capabilities and skills of the human resources along with giving the best returns to the shareholders.


Vision Statement                       

To be an unleashed brand with frequently improvement in new ideas and innovations that will be surprising for the globe by exceeding the wants and desires of the customers.

HRM Policy

Policies of Flash Gear

Hiring Policy:

Flash Gear has established a system for hiring workforce. This include following series of steps. 

1. Advertising the vacancy in newspaper, Chamber of Commerce & Industry magazine, posted on factory notice board or by factory employee relations. 
2. A Job announcement does not specify race or gender or other personnel characteristics. 
3. Any person (within the company or its associate) who considers himself suitable for job may apply. 
4. Race, cast, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation does not influence in hiring process. 
5. Selection is made solely on the basis of merit. 
6. Application may be selected/rejected or deferred for future job opening. 
7. Selected candidate hired on first three months probation period, and if the employee’s performance is satisfactory during the probation period then he becomes a permanent employee otherwise the probation period may be extended. 
8. All applications are submitted to the human resource office of the company. 
9. Concerned department In-charge contacts with human resource department and raise the demand for new employment in his department. 
10. Interviewers fill up candidate assessment sheet(s). 
11. Hiring decision (on the bases of education, training and/ or experience). 
12. Forwarding applications for further approval’s to concern Department. 
13. Job description writing (by M.R/EMR/). 
14. Attendance & I.D cards (sometimes attendance cards are made after prohibition period). 
15. Orientation training (general rules & regulations). 
16. Employee’s files maintained by account department. 
17. Employee is very much knowing about his salary after joining the job.

Probation and Confirmation Policy:

An employee selected shall be on the probation for the period of three months, which may be extended for three months, depending upon his performance. During the probationary period the probationer shall not be entitled any type of facility. During the probationary period the probationer shall not be entitled for any leave. In case he earns any leave, it would be considered with out pay. On successful completion of the probationary period an employee shall become permanent and Company will issue him an Appointment Letter.

 

Training and Development Policy

Training helps the employee gain the specific job related skills that ensures effective performance. In Flash Gear a comprehensive plan of training is chalked out by the human resource department. Then it is handed over to the relevant departmental heads. Employees are trained through the lectures given by the departmental heads through relevant reading material and demonstrations. Special lectures are designed on Fire Fighting, ISO-9000: 2000, ISO-14001, SA-8000, HSE/SOE, Lean manufacturing etc for the awareness of our employees. Flash Gear use to co conduct crosses trainings of the employees to make them multi-skilled workers. Due to this cross training if a worker is absent even then we will have another worker to work in his place so the productivity will not suffer and management will not ask workers to do overtime.

 

Performance Evaluation Policy:

Flash Gear annually conducts Performance Evaluation of the employees. Following steps may consider for this purpose:

1- Attendance 
2- Regularity 
3- Discipline 
4- Following the instructions regarding duty 
5- Attitude with the in charge/supervisor 
6- Attitude with the co-workers

 

Bonus Policy:


1) Bonus equivalent to one month’s gross salary is paid to each employee at the end of every financial year. 
2) If the service period of any employee is less than a year he will be entertained with the bonus according to the months he has worked. 
3) An additional bonus may be paid with the approval of Chief Executive/Director if the company shows more profitability in that financial year.

Education Policy:

Flash Gear has keenly observed the importance of needy worker’s children education, because some workers cannot bear the charges of for their children’s education. The Company has opened their own schooling system named as “Jamiat Tulba-e- Quran, Sialkot”. The worker’s children will be admitted in this school. The company will ensure that the all-relevant expense details (school fee, uniform, books & stationary, school bags, medical, etc) are provided to the children free of cost. To involve the parents of the children, parent teacher meetings are held once in every 2 months, in which performance of the children is discussed so that they can share ideas on further improvement in the performance of the children.

E.O.B.I Policy:

It is the policy Flash Gear to register each and every employee with the E.O.B.I (Employee’s old age Benefit Institution) after the probation period of 3 months. This Department pays the pension to the retired employees after completion of minimum period of 5 to 7 years of their services. For this facility Company has to pay 5% of total salaries of the employees to the E.O.B.I Department on monthly basis.

Gratuity Policy:

Each employee is given gratuity equivalent to one month’s salary (last drawn) for each completed year at the end of his employment. In case of death of an employee gratuity is given to his legal heirs.

INCREMENT POLICY:

1) Annual increment is granted to the employees on 1st of July each year with the decided percentage according to their relevant grades. 

2) Only those employees are eligible for the annual increment in the salary that had performed ideally throughout that financial year. 

3) An ideal performer means a person who had not received a warning notice for any misconduct or irresponsibility during the year while the assessment of ideal performance is based on the recommendations of concerned department in-charge followed by the General Manager. 

4) Those employees who had worked less than a period of 3 months would not be entertained with the annual increment. 

5) Special increment is given only on enhancement in the employee’s responsibilities with the approval of Director/General Manager. 

6) Stoppage in increment may be reviewed on his good performance for at least three months. Note: Increment and grades schedule is attached herewith.

INTEREST-FREE LOAN POLICY:

It is the policy of Flash Gear to facilitate its needy employees with interest-free loans. These loans are provided to employees through the Flash Gear Welfare Society. Loan is applied by the employees, recommended by any member of welfare society and approved by the H.R Manager. Employees can apply for the loan maximum up to 50% of their gratuity. ELIGIBILITY:

1) The employees will be eligible for the loan on completion of at least one year of service. 
2) The employees are entitled with the loan only once in a year. 
3) The employee must not have any balance remaining in his account of the previous year before applying for the new loan. 

Note: In case of emergency the H.R Manager is authorized to approve loan for any employee who is not eligible according to the above stated conditions.

Juvenile Worker Policy:

Flash Gear have introduced an internal monitoring system to prevent child labor from inside the factory as well as the stitching centers. If any worker is found while monitoring whose age is less than 18 years and more than 15 years. Company will get the worker admitted him to the school and his education expenses (school fee, uniform, books & stationary, school bags, medical) will be paid by the Flash Gear.

Leave Policy:

Except for sick leave, employees are required to take prior permission from their manager and approved from General Manager of the company and submitted to the gate In-charge. If any one of employees goes on the leave without the prior intimation, than this leave will be considered without pay. If the sick leaves are more than two, medical certificate should be attached with the leave application form. Following are the different types of leave entitlement. 

a) Annual Leave 14 
b) Casual Leave 10 
c) Sick Leave 08 
d) Festival / Gazette Leave 

During the probation period the employee is not entitled for any leave except Gazette holidays.

Life Insurance Policy:

Flash Gear provides group life insurance cover to each and every employee after the probation period of 3 months. In case of death of any employee, the insurance company pays Pak Rs: 200000/- to the legal heirs of the employee and in case of accidental death of any employee, the insurance company pays double of the above mentioned amount. Premium is paid by the company

Over Time Policy:

1- It is the policy of Flash Gear not to force any worker to do overtime. 
2- If the Company requires the workers to do overtime then the management with the consent of workers can involve them in overtime. 
3- A worker can do overtime maximum up to 48 hours a month. 
4- Employees are entitled to get double the normal wages in case of working in overtime. 
5- Calculation of overtime is based on 26 days per month.

 

Rest Day Policy:

It is the policy of Flash Gear to give the employees a weekly rest day. Normally the employees are entitled with the rest day on Sunday. A few of our employees rest day is swapped from Sunday to any other day of that week with an approval from the regional labor office Government of Punjab. Encl: A copy of the approval from the regional labor office is attached.


The company is confident to declare that through its intention and efforts, it can motivate employees, produce better quality Soccer & Volley Balls and create a culture of continuous improvement.

Social Security Policy:

 It is the policy of Flash Gear to facilitate our each and every employee with the Social Security Department after the probation period of 3 months. This department provides the workers with the facility of free medical treatment in both indoor and outdoor. It also covers the medical treatment of the employee’s family for which our company has to pay 7 % of total salaries of the employees on monthly basis.

STAFF WELFARE POLICY:

    Flash Gear is providing and contributing for the welfare of its employees in the following ways. Marriage Grant: 

1) Company pays Rs.2,000/- on the marriage of any worker.
2) Workers are paid by company Rs.1,500/- on the marriage of their daughter or sister.
3) Company pays Rs.5,000/- on the marriage of any clerical staff, in-charge or supervisor.
4) Company pays Rs.10,000/- on the marriage of the managerial staff.

Medical Grant:

1) All the employees working in Flash Gear are registered with the Social Security Department for the free medical facilities of their selves as well as their family members. 

2) In case of emergency (Delivery Case) if the employee had to take his wife to the private hospital then Company may pay maximum up to 50% of the medical bill. 

3) If the employee had to take his parents to private hospital in emergency then the Company may pay maximum up to 25% of the medical bill. 

Note: All marriage and medical grants will be recommended by the members of Flash Gear Welfare Society and approved by the H.R Manager.

 

Smoking Policy:

Flash Gear establishes its own policy about smoking.

It is the policy of the company that workers; supervisors, managers and all staff members are not allowed to smoke in working areas during working hours. Only the nominated areas are allowed for smoking.

If any one of worker, supervisor, In-charge, managers and remaining all staff members are found doing smoking or any type of drugs in all working areas. Company will take serious action for that employee according to rules and regulations.

We believe that every person will be following the company rules & regulations.

Do you know smoking plays havoc with your health? It is safety hazard and cause fire. Absenteeism is higher among smokers. Productivity loses due to smoke brakes and causes damage to property when cigarettes burn. Smokers require more routine maintained i.e. ash/butt cleanup. Smokers create health hazards for other employees through passive smoking.

 

Visitors/ Guest Policy:

Visitors/ Guest are not allowed to visit the production floors without Permission of the competent authority. However special areas are set aside for their entertainment.

 

Wrong Use of Computers

The employees whom are given company’s computers are responsible for its care. All computers must be switched off after the completion of the work. In case of any problem immediately intimate the computer section. Unauthorized person is not allowed to use or conduct any sort of repair work. Computers are given for official assignments only.   

 

Personal telephone calls & mails:

The telephone is available for official use only. The personal calls are not allowed in working hours.

 

Meal break:

If the employees are scheduled to work more than five hours then they are entitled for one-hour lunch. This period is allocated for lunch & prayer only. The time is as follows:

For labor/Officers (summer/ winter) From 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

On Friday (For lunch/ Prayers) From 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

 

Suspicious Packages:

If you are seeing any unopened packages, Bags, etc, please do not deal with them yourself. Let yourself. Let your department In-charge know about them or inform the security staff.

 

 

Employee Meetings:

Monthly, the Forward Sports has arranged a meeting with employee. Every department has his own representative to taking participate and discuss the problems relevant to his factory.

 

Employee Communication:

Forward Sports encourages honest and open communication between you and your boss. If you have question or problem concerning your work, you should talk to your department In-charge. If any one of employees wish to take a suggestion or a comment. The factory shall hang a compliant box in prominent areas of the factory.

 

Term & conditons

       The Flash Gear Website Terms and Conditions

 
1st June 2015.

This agreement
 These are our terms and conditions on which we intend to rely. For your own fortification we urge you to read them carefully and contact us for explanation if there is anything you have complexity understanding.

Who are we?
As the 21st century is started with the new dynamic paradigm in the concerning portfolio (Motorbike Leather & Textile Wear, Leather Fashion wear, Motorbike & Sports Accessories, where Flash Gear is one of the most successful and emerging company which is rapidly knowing all over the globe by its Premium Quality Products, Validity, Reliability, and Price Efficiency (Read More)
 
What service do we offer?
We will process your data and present you a long range with Motorbike Garments & Accessories for you to choose what is best for you.
Often we will display a list that is arranged in order of the most competitive price, but we will where possible, point out other features or benefits that you might wish to consider. At that point our service ends and the product representative or sale representative you choose will deal with you from there onward.
We do not charge you for our service.
We do not offer any advice or make recommendations so you will need to make your own choice about how to proceed. Our service to you includes
·         Collecting and preceding your orders.

·         Sharing these details with concerning departments in order to proceed further.

·         Providing you with sufficient information so you will come to know about your order status.

We will try and find you the most competitive prices from concerning product categories. These are sale representatives who deal with you and they will provide you with written details of the product they will offer you.
If you decide to go ahead with any of the quotations, they will tell you the basis on which they have arranged it.



Your Responsibilities
You must put all required personal information truthfully and accurately as they will be used to get you any time we ship your beloved product or our any beneficial promotions. (If you do not tell the truth, or if you mislead or omit important information then we could not forward your orders and you will also lose your desired product. You might also have to pay compensation or be charged with fraud)
If you are in doubt about what to do, please contact us. Please note that this responsibility also applies to anyone else who will be covered under any policy. You must obtain accurate information about them also.
You will need to reconfirm your details with us before you accept our orders terms & conditions. This is very important. It is your responsibility to ensure all details are correct.
 
Our Liability
Our Software is complex and highly sophisticated; however we acknowledge that sometimes mistakes might still occur. When we get your order details it is not changed in anyway and we make every effort to transmit your details correctly. You are then responsible to choose the correct product, we will execute your indented order in a sophisticated manner and we will do our best to satisfy you as we promised to be served.
We would remind you that it is your responsibilities to make sure your provided information are correct & complete and shipping address are valid. You should not buy products without checking to make sure your details are correct. When you receive confirmation e-mail from our side you should check again that the details are correct.



Data Protection
We take Data Protection seriously because we want you to feel confident about the privacy and security of the personal information you input on our website.
We follow strict security procedures in the storage and disclosure of your information as required by law. These security procedures mean that we or the broker or insurer with whom you take out your policy may ask for proof of your identity before disclosing any information to you.


Complaints handling
If you have any queries regarding your current order e.g. Product Design, Change in Specification etc you should contact our entitled sale representative.
Being manufacturer and exporter we guards our fame and reputation and so are committed to providing all our customers with a high standard of Products and Service (but things can go wrong in any business and we are here to help resolve your problem if you are unfortunate to have one)
If for any reason we let you down, please let us know by contacting our customer services department on             0870 225 8207      or e-mail us at qasim@flashgear.co.uk alternatively you may write to us at Customer Services Department, El Saida El Bali Alte Strasse 179, Frenchen 50226 Germany . If we are unable to satisfy you, you may be able to take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service and we will supply you with details at the time.


Law and Jurisdiction
This site is intended for use of German residents only and due to this, applications from non-UK residents will not be accepted.
These terms of business shall be governed and construed in accordance with German Law. Any legal action or proceedings arising shall fall within the jurisdiction of the courts of German.
 
Accessing our website
Access to our website is provided free and we reserve the right to withdraw or amend the service we provided on our website without notice.
We are not liable if for any reason our website is unavailable at any time or for any period. We may from time to time restrict access to our website.
If you choose a password or any other piece of information as part of our security procedures, you must treat such information as confidential and you must not disclose it to any third party. We have the right to disable any user if in our opinion they have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these terms of use.


Links to other sites
Flashgear.co.uk sites provide links to third party websites as part of our service. We are unable to accept any liability for any statements, information, content, products or services that are published on, or may be accessible from, these third party sites. We are also unable to guarantee that they are free from viruses or anything else that could be infectious or destructive.


Website Content
Whilst we have taken every step to ensure the information contained and displayed on the websites are accurate and up-to-date, we are unable accept liability for any errors or omissions and reserve the right to add, amend or delete content from the website at any time.


Monitoring
Monitoring of website activity and or communications may take place in accordance with German Law for training and development purposes or for other legitimate interests such as crime prevention.
 
Commercial use
This web site is for individuals themselves in person to obtain their own orders quotes. This web site shall not be used for commercial use or price scraping. Obtaining quotes for other persons, if done for reward, can be a criminal offence.


Intellectual property
All Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright material in connection with this site and our services are hereby reserved and protected by law. We will take legal action against persons who copy this site or imitate our processes, text, questions, and images or in any way interfere with our legal property.


Amendments
We reserve the right to amend our Terms and Conditions at any time. The amended Terms and Conditions will be effective from the date they are posted on our site but will not be retrospective.
 

A biker guide

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The Flash Gear (Biker Passion) literature on the Personal Protective Equipment Issue 


The Flash Gear Company (Biker Passion) is concerned at reports that motorcyclists are enduring to be sold clothing products in flouting of the PPE Regulations. 

Moderately, it is an offence to declare or imply that motorcycle clothing is protective unless the product in question has been independently tested and bears CE marking. 

The Flash Gear Company (Biker Passion) understands that there is perplexity in the marketplace concerning the span of the legislation, and many retailers are merely continuing, in good faith, to endorse clothing products in the way they have for many years, but never-the-less in direct contravention of the new regulations. 

This Flash Gear Company (Biker Passion) literature is intended to informing consumers more fully on this complex subject. The Company believes retailers will find of interest as well.

Motorcycle Clothing and Standards – A Buyer's Guide 

High-quality protecting clothing for motorcyclists has been offered for many years. Nonetheless, how many riders are sufficiently knowledgeable in materials science, clothing design and the mechanisms of injury in accidents to decide in a shop which jacket for example is truly defensive and which jacket simply looks protective? 

The innovative European Standards set least amount levels for various uniqueness of protective clothing that should make sure all clothing claiming to be conventional to the standards will provide a reasonable level of protection. Clothing, boots and gloves subjected to testing and posture an independent and recognizable mark of fitness for purpose will be a less dangerous purchase than unharmed clothing. 

The Personal Protective Equipment Directive efficiently split motorcycle clothing into that which is protective and that which is not. The Directive's provisions are pretty obvious in this stare, and following extensive meetings between the European Commission, industry and riders' groups, agreement on how to categories motorcycle clothing has been reached. 

In convenient requisites, motorcycle clothing can be separated into three groups: 

Non-protective. Outer clothing constituting a barrier to the elements: heat, cold, wind and rain. Claims for any other form of protection breach the PPE Regulations, UK law, and industry and riders' groups' agreement with the European Commission. 
Non-protective supplied with CE impact protectors. A non-protective outer garment, as above, fitted with for example accredited shoulder, elbow, knee and back protectors bearing CE marking. 
Protective jackets, trousers, one-piece or two-piece suits, boots and gloves claimed by the manufacturer to be protective. Tested according to the European Standard (or the Cambridge or SATRA standards) and bearing CE marking. Garments must be fitted with CE marked protectors. 

What defines which group a garment falls in to? 

Relatively simply, whatever the company claims it to be. As is often the case in such situations, however, there are a few untruthful companies who are taking advantage of the situation and the consumer's lack of in detail knowledge, to make wealth. 

For example, limb and back protectors are merely present for one purpose: to save from harm. Unfortunately there are some manufacturers, however, who are still planting components made from plastic and foam into the limbs and back of garments. There are also boots and gloves with similar components. The probability is that the consumer will suppose that these are impact protection, but because the producer does not claim them to be so, they take advantage of the loophole. 

Where CE manifest protection are fixed to a non-protective garment (typically a textile jacket, but equally applicable to leather jackets, trousers and suits), some retailers are misleading consumers, claiming that the whole garment is approved. In fact it is not, and retailers who provide such information disobey, for example, the Sale and Supply of Goods Act and the Trade Descriptions Act. 

On the other hand such garments feature a “CE” label sewn to the lining, but in fact, this refers only to the standing of the fitted protections. This is called misleading. Do not allow yourself to be misled. 

As a final point, how has the manufacturer or distributor illustrated the garment in their advertising? What did the clothing salesperson at your local motorcycle superstore declare about the garments as he tried to sell it to you? The European Commission's agreement with industry and riders' groups is pretty apparent in this regard, and the following advice has been issued: 

“If a manufacturer openly declare, or implies in sale literature and /or advertisement, that a garment offers protection because of specific additional features, these additional features shall be eligible as “PPE”. As such, they must fulfill with the provisions of the PPE Directive. 

“The explicit features may materialize in e.g. crash protectors for limb and/or back, pads for elbow and /or shoulder and protection from cuts and abrasions (not exclusive listing of examples)” 

Consequently, phraseology such as: 

(shock absorbing)
(impact resistant)
(absorbs shocks during falls)
(affordable protection against wind, rain and tarmac)
(abrasion resistant)
(for protection, quality and style)
(total commitment to safety)

can hardly be credibly be argued not to constitute a claim that the product so described is protective. 


Question is how can the consumer tell which group a garment falls in to Personal Protective Equipments? 

Answer is here: By law all CE marked PPE must be supplied with detailed, printed information on selection, care and upholding of the product. Protective motorcycle clothing and crash protectors must be supplied to the consumer with such information and it must explain, for example: How the product was experienced, the test data generated, how to remove and reinstall protectors (as may be essential when clean-up the garment) and the predictable service life or how to recognize when the PPE requires substitution. Contact information for the European Notified Body responsible for the testing and certification will also be provided, from which you will be able to contact them to verify the genuineness or otherwise of the manufacturer's claims. If you are uncertain how to go about this, your local Trading Standards Department may be prepared to assist. 

In short: treat no information as not approved. 

The retailer told me that the European Standards do not apply to leisure riders, only ‘professional motorcyclists.

Riders' groups agreed to support the standards if leisure riders clothing was expressly excluded, to put off the standards being used to support obligation. The standards are for clothing not users; consequently, they can still be used to CE mark clothing for non-professional use. In addition, the Cambridge Standard and the SATRA alternative technical specification, which jointly form the basis of EN 13595, are still obtainable and do not distinguish between leisure, professional or competition users. Simply, there is no excuse for industry not to offer attributed products. 

I have been told that the cost of testing and certification is so high, it would price CE marked clothing out of my reach

This is another red herring. It actually costs less to test and certify a motorcycle suit than it does the average pair of safety shoes - as proven by the fact that the first companies to achieve EC type sanction were the small, UK manufacturers of bespoke motorcyclists' clothing. Furthermore, the main clothing brands are buying CE approved impact protectors at considerably lower prices than they were five years ago. In fact, these foremost clothing brands, with promotion and advertising budgets in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, could cancel one publication advertisement and entirely cover their testing costs. They have the budget. 

European Standards for motorcyclists' protective clothing! 

Take a long, firm look at your motorcycle clothing. Do you know what it is? Not in the sense of is it leather or textile, one piece, two-piece or separates, and is it padded; but is it protective clothing or is it “fashion” clothing - because since 30th June 1995 those are the officially permitted distinctions. 

The requirements and provisions of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive (89/686/EEC), and their bearing on motorcyclists' protective clothing, seems necessary to review in this Flash Gear Biker’s Guide for batter understanding for riders.

The PPE Directive became an vigorous part of Motorcyclist Since that date, suppliers of protective clothing and equipment “designed to be worn or held by an entity for security against one or more health and safety exposure” (the Directive's definition of PPE) have been required to categories their goods as PPE, or non-protective; and to CE mark them by self-certification or through independent, third-party official approval by test facilities known as “European notified Bodies”. 

Motorbike clothing was not at first going to fall within the range of the legislation. Following the collapse of the ACU Standard for race wear (more on which later), however, a meeting took place between Dr Garth Willson and a Mr Petrovich, of the European Commission, in which the latter was persuaded that motorcyclists would advantage from the availability of products manufactured to a European Standard. The European Standards agency CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) convened a mechanical subcommittee with the long title of CEN/TC 162/WG9 - or “WG9” - in order to build up these standards. 

In 1998, EN 1621-1 was published, and motorcyclists will be familiar with this, because limb protection fitted to garments are often claimed to meet this prerequisite (in fact no protector should be marketed if it does not conform to this standard, but that's a subject we'll be looking at in Part 3). Provisional standard prEN 1621-2, which covers back protectors, and which may be published as a full standard by the time you read this, is starting to be endorsed in the form of recently-accredited products (for example the T-Pro “Force field” back protector). In conclusion, there are the garment, glove and footwear standards: EN 13595 Parts 1 - 4, EN 13594 and EN 13634 in that order. 

In this Flash Gear Biker’s Guide Article, we will be looking at the development and application of the CEN standards for motorcycle garments, their background and some of the controversy that destroyed and slowed their delivery. 


The corridor to standards: 

In February 1984, one of the monthlies carried an advertisement for motorcycle suits “ made to ACU Standard ”. An enquiry to the ACU on how other companies could gain this accreditation revealed the advertiser's claim was a lie; there was no ACU Standard and action was taken to prevent the claim appearing in publish again. 

Certain officials within the ACU recognized, however, that the Standing Regulations for road-racers protective clothing - the ACU had merely adopted the FIM's instruction - could be usefully improved. The text is at best unclear and at worst completely meaningless. For example, it requires that: “ The following areas must be padded with at least a double layer of leather or enclosed plastic foam at least 8 mm thick:- shoulder, elbows, both sides of the torso and hip joint, the back of the torso, knees ”. The prerequisite for the shoulders, elbows and knees can be complied with simply enough. It is the requirement for the other parts of the body that raise a question mark over the efficiency of the requirements. Read one way, it could be argued that the regulations render back protectors compulsory. Read another, few mass-production manufacturers comply with the requirement for double leather between the armpit and the hip. Inconsistent, ambiguous, unenforceable and, of course, unenforced. 

Motivated by the number of low-quality suits that were supporting terrible failure during racing crashes - which at one point resulted in the ACU issuing an unprecedented ban on one leading European manufacturer's suits - in 1988, the ACU established a technical subcommittee to prepare its own standard for race wear. Members of this committee included ACU personnel, medical experts and garment manufacturers. 

But no sooner had this committee delivered the final plan of their document than the ACU decided not to publish it. The reason afterward admitted was that the ACU had a fear that if a competitor sustained injury, they might be held responsible as the “official recognition body” for his suit. For the betterment of the ACU to required competitors to wear products accredited by another body. 

Then European Commission becomes concerned. 

It was at this point that Dr Willson, who had been a associate of the ACU standard committee, travelled to Brussels and convinced Mr Petrovich, whose son happened to be a motorcyclist, to take in motorcycle clothing within the scope of the standardization programmed initiated in response to the recently published Personal Protective Equipment Directive. 

German standards agency DIN was appointed as the secretariat for Working Group 9, which held its first meeting within DIN's offices in the former East Berlin in August 1991. The committee's early efforts were first and foremost focused on developing a standard for limb protectors, but outside of the meetings, controversy was building. 

The European motorcycling industry feared that the publication of PPE standards could lead to motorcyclists being obliged to wear approved clothing. Both the Commission and CEN were lobbied by industry and riders' groups to exclude motorcycle clothing both from the scope of the Directive and the standardization programmed. 

At a crucial meeting with Commission officer Mr J-P Van Gheluwe, the industry demonstrated a textile jacket, which, it was claimed, merely represented a barrier to non-extreme ambient conditions of wind, rain and cold. Such products for personal use are specifically excluded from the scope of the Directive, and so the industry considered a block exemption for all motorcycle clothing to be warranted. 

Sadly, someone had forgotten to remove the shoulder and elbow protectors from the jacket, and when one of the Commission delegation enquired “ what are these meant to be? ”, an industry representative answered truthfully and impulsively “ they are protectors ” - which immediately resulted in the Commission delegation pronouncing them to therefore be PPE and consequently within the scope of the Directive! 

Conciliation was reached whereby motorcycle clothing proposed for private use and providing protection only from non-extreme ambient weather conditions would not be considered as PPE. Any protectors fitted to, for example, the elbows and shoulders were considered to be PPE and therefore to be tested and approved. If, however, a manufacturer specifically claimed or implied in literature or advertising that in addition to fitted protectors, the garment also provided other forms of “special” protection (e.g.: abrasion and cut resistance), then the garment would also be considered to be PPE and subject to testing and certification.


Advancement is Made 

Development after that point wasn't entirely controversy-free, but a standard for clothing which had been presented by the British Standards Institution (BSI), and which combined the requirements of the remarkably similar Cambridge Standard and test house and Notified Body SATRA's alternative technical requirement was used as the basis of the CEN standard for motorcycle clothing. Through a series of separate project groups operated under the control of WG9, a total of eight product standards started to take form. 

In December 1997, the first WG9 standard to appear in print was EN 1621-1

Motorcyclists protective clothing against automatic impact – Part 1: Requirements and test methods for impact protectors. 

The garment standard EN 13595 “ Protective clothing for professional motorcycle riders - Jackets, trousers and one-piece or divided suits ” at last appeared during the late summer of 2002. This has been divided into four parts: 
One part covering general requirements and one covering each of the three test methods. In response to a submission by riders' groups - embraced by industry and accepted by the Commission and CEN - the scope of these documents was amended from earlier versions to include garments for use by professional riders only. 

This step was taken to provide a blockade to the CEN standards being used as the basis of further legislation making the wearing of approved PPE by leisure motorcyclists compulsory. 

Footwear standard EN 13634 and glove standard EN 13594 also feature a scope amended to encompass professional use only. These were published at the same time as EN 13595, which is significant since the standards share many ordinary test methods.

At last, prEN 1621-2 “Motorcyclists protective clothing against mechanical impact - Part 2: Motorcyclists' back protectors - Requirements and test methods” has just completed its Formal Vote stage and it is predictable this document will appear in print early in 2003 - maybe even by the time you read this. 

After a decade, finally a series of authoritative standards is available that will deliver to the marketplace, and thence the consumer, fit for purpose motorcycle clothing bearing an independent, recognizable mark. 

Appendix: 

Remember when buying motorcycle clothing; if claims for special features, CE armour etc. are mentioned in the advertising then the protectors - and, if the claims extend to it, the clothing - must by law be CE marked. It has been possible to purchase type-approved and CE marked motorcycle clothing since the Cambridge Standard's publication in 1994. 


The European motorcycle clothing standards enlighten: 

Introduction 

High-quality protecting clothing for motorcyclists has been offered for many years. Nonetheless, how many riders are sufficiently knowledgeable in materials science, clothing design and the mechanisms of injury in accidents to decide in a shop which jacket for example is truly defensive and which jacket simply looks protective? 

The innovative European Standards set least amount levels for various uniqueness of protective clothing that should make sure all clothing claiming to be conventional to the standards will provide a reasonable level of protection. Clothing, boots and gloves subjected to testing and posture an independent and recognizable mark of fitness for purpose will be a less dangerous purchase than unharmed clothing. 



Impact Protection Standards:

EN 1621-1 - Motorcyclists' protective clothing against mechanical impact – 

Part 1: Requirements and test methods for impact protectors; 

Many motorcyclists will be well-known with EN 1621-1, ever since its publication in 1997, shoulder, elbow, knee and, to a lesser degree, hip protectors marked as meeting the requirements of this standard have appeared in increasing numbers across the whole range of motorcycling garments. 

Protectors are experienced on the similar equipment used to evaluate many other shapes of impact protection, including horse riders' body protectors, martial arts protectors, cricket equipment and riot protection for the police. 

Purely, the apparatus is a overlook mounted on a one metric tons block of steel or concrete, to which is bolted a load cell. The product for testing is mounted the relevant one of a series of anvils, on behalf of the various parts of the human body, which is bolted above the load cell. Impactors broadly replicating the “hazard” (a flat road surface, a fist, a cricket ball or a brick, for example) are dropped onto the sample and the transmitted force expected by the load cell is recorded. 


prEN 1621-2 - Motorcyclists' protective clothing against mechanical impact – 

Part 2: Motorcyclists' back protectors - Requirements and test methods 

Draft customary prEN 1621-2 covers back protectors. This may well have been published as a full standard by the time you read this article. The crash energy is the same as for limb protectors, at 50 Joules, but the transmitted force is lower than for limb protectors at 18 kN for “Level 1” products and 9 kN for the higher performance “Level 2” products. There has been disparagement of the standard from medical experts who consider the transmitted force levels too severe; citing decades of automotive investigation which indicates 4 kN is the maximum force the brittle bones which form the human ribcage can withstand before they fracture. Four kilo Newton is the requirement adopted in standards covering, for example, horse riders' body protectors and martial arts equipment. 

Attempts to reduce the broadcasted force requirement to 4 kN and to correspondingly reduce the 50 Joule impact energy requirement were strongly resisted by industry, who claimed consumers would be “confused” by different impact energy requirements between EN 1621-1 and EN 1621-2. 

By fact, it was in industry's commercial benefit to test both types of protector at 50J, since they could then extol the efficacy of back protectors which, when struck with the same impact energy as limb protectors, transmitted only 9 or 18 kN compared to 35 kN. The consumer would be unconscious that subtle differences in the impactor and anvil were accountable, still less aware that 9 kN was still more than double the safe edge supported by medical experts. Moreover, during the late 1990s, some companies had used the wholly unsuitable EN 1621-1 to CE mark their back protectors. Commercial objectives were given priority over consumer safety. 

In spite of these concerns, EN 1621-2 characterize a initial point from wholly unsafe products should be render obsolete and unsalable. It will be important, however, for consumers to ensure back protectors are manifest with the accurate standard number, if they are not to mistakenly purchase an old stock Finally, there are a small number of back protectors on the market which have been dual-tested against the requirements of EN 1621-2 and also against a 4 kN transmitted force requirement. Reading the manufacturer's technical information will reveal which are the superior products. item marked to EN 1621-1. 

Clothing standards 

EN 13595 Parts 1 - 4 - Protective clothing for professional motorcyclists - Jackets, trousers and one-piece or divided suits 

As the title says, and as has been enlightened somewhere else in this series of articles, the scope of EN 13595 includes garments for use by “professional motorcyclists” only. 

Whilst it became evident that their political lobbying of the European Commission and European Standards agency CEN had failed both to have motorcycle clothing specifically disqualified from the scope of the PPE Directive and for the programmed to be dissolved, industry looked to other ways to slow development of the standards. 

Claimed to be to present yet another blockade to legislators to use the clothing standards as the basis for compulsion, the suggestion was tabled that the document should be divided into as many parts as possible. It was rational to follow the format of other product standards, with a general requirements document supported by documents relating each of the test methods. This slowed progress down slightly, but not significantly given the eight years it had taken to get to the point where advanced clothing drafts were even in movement! 

The four parts of EN 13595 are as follows: 

High tech material

Material Specification by Flash Gear
Flash Gear used a lot of different specialty materials in manufacturing of motorcycle garments, various of it for increased safety, others for superior comfort in the different weather. We get a lot of questions about these special materials and contemplation we’d try to provide a concise overview of many of them and what they’re universally used for.
 
ABS : Thermoplastic (frequently polycarbonate) used in the construction of injection molded helmet shells and motorcycle trim pieces. This is used for its hard-wearing, scratch- and impact resistance behavior.
Tip: Do not place stickers or repaint ABS helmets or trim pieces because solvents in the glue or paint can damage them. 
 
ABS : Thermoplastic (frequently polycarbonate) used in the construction of injection molded helmet shells and motorcycle trim pieces. This is used for its hard-wearing, scratch- and impact resistance behavior.
Tip: Do not place stickers or repaint ABS helmets or trim pieces because AirGuardâ„¢: Extremely abrasion-and tear defiant concave fiber polyamide material featuring tiny air pockets, which protect against fluctuation in ambient warmth to improve wearer ease with no weight penalty. It is also water repulsive and windproof, effortless to clean and quick freshening. Flash Gear had been using this fabric for the windproof and/or waterproof liners for some of their jackets and pants. 

in the glue or paint can damage them. 
 
Amara: Synthetic leather made of 60% polyamide and 40% polyurethane, which is long-lasting, elastic, and contented. It also presents outstanding grasp and is therefore often used on the palms of motorcycle gloves. Flash Gear use this fabric in several of their latest motorbike racing gloves. 
 
Aramid: Aramid thread are a division of heat-resistant and strapping synthetic fibers. Aramid fibers can have a flexible class, so we from time to time used in the stretch panels in the sleeves and crotch on suits, such as those from FlashGears. Aramid is also extremely abrasion-resistant, so we’re considering panels of this fabric used to strengthen the knees and seat of riding jeans FlashGear. Helmet manufacturers are using Aramid fibers in some of their helmet models as well.

 
Cambrelle®: Cambrelle® is the world’s foremost footwear lining with a high level of abrasion resistance and numerous microscopic air pockets that allow air to flow and add to the cushioning effect to create a constant, comfortable micro-climate around the foot. The coating transports moisture away from the foot, storing it away and liberate it back into the environment when the footwear is removed. Cambrelle® is so well-organized at moisture supervision that it is fully capable of absorbing three-and-a-half times its own weight in moisture keeping the foot cooler, drier, and more relaxed. It also protects the shoe itself. As it is so effectual at dispersing moisture, the lining also helps to prevent staining of the upper from surplus moisture and avert the build-up of bacteria that can reason mildew, rot and odor

 
Carbon/Kevlar: Carbon fiber material are describe by a combination of light weight, high strength and high firmness. Kevlar® is the DuPont trade name for a unique fiber called Aramid. Low thickness, high tensile strength and brilliant robustness discriminate Aramid fibers. Aramid fibers are used in composites to offer lightweight, strapping laminates with superb resistance to exhaustion and impact smash up as well as good wear confrontation. Carbon/Kevlar fabrics are compound weaves of both materials, often seen in knuckle protection on high end race gloves, such as those made by FlashGear.

 
Chamude®: Chamude is an non-natural leather that grant the sophisticated exterior of natural leather and resolve its problems using microfibers. By use of microfiber technology and singular processes, this creation make available fine appearance and spongy touch, as well as a superior level of durability, permeability, breathability, comfort, and insulation. In adding together, Chamude allows the submission of a diversity of colors and is lightweight enough for thickness control. 
 
Clarino™: High-performance synthetic with the sense of leather: Hard-wearing and comfortable, Clarino™ has leather’s performance but is light, breathable, and always malleable – even when it’s cold and wet. Exceedingly breathable performance is perfect for vigorous riders. Lightweight, soft, and flexible for comfort on long rides. FlashGear used this material primarily in the palms of gloves.

Protection from injury

Protection from injury

An European study of motorcycle crash casualties, found that riders wearing protective clothing spent less time in hospital, and returned to work on average 20 days earlier, than those who were not protected. The protected riders were also 40% less likely to have suffered a permanent physical defect. The authors concluded that protective clothing was significantly effective in preventing or reducing at least 43% of injuries to the skin and soft tissue and 63% of deep and extensive injuries (Schuller, 1986).

What parts of the body Rider/Motorbiker need to protect?
Information about injury risk patterns has not been widely available to motorcyclists but it does exist. 

We have combined information from a number of sources to construct a diagram of injury zones and recommended protection levels. The injury data is based on research by Otte & Middlehavre, (1987) and was confirmed as typical of the pattern of injury in a report on motorcycle safety by the European Experimental Vehicles Committee (EEVC,1993).


What we have found:

Otte found that riders wearing protective clothing had significantly fewer leg injuries in crashes at the same relative speed (eg 40% vs 29% injury free at under 50 kph). He also identified a significant benefit in reducing foot injuries for riders wearing motorcycle boots.
There are other studies that also confirm the benefits of protective clothing (e.g.Hurt et al, 1981; Zettas et al, 1979; Otte & Middlehavre, 1987; Hell & Lob, 1993).
The impact in most crashes actually occurs at relatively low speeds (75% at less than 48 kph, RoSPA, 2001, p18). These are the crashes where protective clothing is of most value, when you are sliding and tumbling along the road surface but not if you hit a solid object. There is a limit to what protective clothing can do. When it comes to serious injuries to the limbs and torso, there is little difference between riders with and without protective clothing.

    Nothing can protect you from the impact of hitting a solid object at high speed.
    Nothing can protect you from being bent or crushed between the road and another vehicle, nor from internal injuries caused by the shock waves of high energy impacts.


However, the right protective clothing can almost certainly:
    Prevent most of the cuts, gravel rash and friction burns as you slide along a road.
    Protect you from exhaust pipes burns if the bike ends up on top of you.
    Reduce the risk of infection and complications caused by road dirt in open wounds.
    Save you from having the muscles and skin of your hands and legs stripped from your body. 

The medical term is de-gloving  think about it.

Protection from weather

Protection from the weather is a safety issue. Physical stress due to heat, cold or discomfort is tiring and distracting. You will be less likely to be involved in a crash if you are comfortable and alert.

What are the issues and how can you protect your self from:

Cold stress:
Feeling cold can affect a motorcyclist in three crucial ways.

1.    The most obvious is a loss of feeling in the hands and feet that affects your ability to operate the controls.

2.    Being cold or uncomfortable is also stressful and tiring, so you are more at risk of crashing because you are less alert and your reactions may be slowed.

3.    Finally there is evidence that lower core temperature may affect decision making and emotional responses such as anxiety, irritability, aggressiveness, or detachment

Flash Gear Rain Wear incorporated Insulation and wind proofing that are the keys to avoiding cold stress. The principle of insulation is to allow a thick layer of air between the riderâ™s body and the outer layer of clothing.

4.    Close fitting openings (neck, wrists and waist) and covered zippers and other fastening points prevent wind entry and heat loss and are essential to maintain the warmth of the air layer.

5.    Clothing that is too loose may also result in heat loss from wind buffeting that forces the warm air out.

6.    Cold stress can also result from wind chill when wearing damp clothes, particularly leather. This is because, as the wind evaporates the moisture, it draws the heat from your body. There are a range of under wear products made from functional membranes which are designed to draw perspiration away from your skin thus keeping you dry and warm.

7.   Insulated boots and gloves can keep the warmth in your feet and hands. However, this will not be enough if your body is cold because your brain will restrict blood flow to the extremities in an effort to maintain core temperature. If your body is cold, then your hands and feet will also be cold.

8.    The shins of a rider are very exposed to cold, if the shins become cold this will affect blood flow to the feet and therefore the warmth of your feet - so protect your shins.
9.    Chemical heat packs from camping shops can help restore or maintain warmth if tucked inside your boots or wrist straps.

10.  Pressure (eg from tight boots, gloves or wrist straps) can also affect blood flow and will become more of a problem as you get colder. Additional layers on your hands such as inner gloves or over mittens can also help.

11.         A third of your heat is lost from the neck and face, so use a neck sock or wind proof cover over those areas.
 


Wet stress:

Wet clothing draws heat away from your body. Water conducts heat much faster than air, which means you will get cold, much quicker if you are also wet. Wet weather gear is therefore essential, but rain is not the only source of wet stress. Clothing that is wet from perspiration will also draw heat away from your body. Under wear made from functional membranes is designed to prevent this, it functions as a wick drawing moisture away from your skin.

Wet clothing is a particular problem for motorcyclists because of the additional effects of the wind chill factor. The wind chill factor means that for every 5 km/h wind speed, the surface temperature drops 5 degrees.

Flash Gear textile made suits do have water proof or water resistant properties, whereas leathers are not so good at keeping you dry because leather absorbs water. However whether your normal gear is leather or textiles, you usually need to add another layer to be protected from rain.

The key to keeping comfortably dry is to have waterproof breathable clothing.

1.    Lightweight roll up PVC or plasticized nylon over-suits are waterproof, but not breathable. They are useful in an emergency to keep the rain out, but they quickly become very uncomfortable because they keep your sweat in. This results in accelerated heat transfer resulting in overheating in hot weather and rapid cooling in cold weather.

2.    There are a variety of  Flash Gear textile jackets and pants that come with a waterproof or water-resistant liner. There is a difference between waterproof and water- resistant. Water cannot penetrate a waterproof fabric, where as it will eventually soak through one that is only resistant.

What Points a rider should keep in mind while having Weather Protective Wear?

A·         Is the garment made of waterproof or just water resistant fabric?
B·         Is the liner fully breathable, semi-breathable or non-breathable?
C·         Check the design and construction of the garment. How are the pockets, zips and          
cuffs covered? Does it have waterproof seams? Will water find its way in?
D·         Does it allow ventilation in hot weather?
 


Heat stress:
In some of the regions motorcyclists do not wear protective clothing in summer because it is often uncomfortable.


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Protection from weather

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