High visibility workwear

EN 343: The standard for waterproof workwear

The waterproof workwear in our collection complies with the EN 343 standard. This standard encompasses requirements to provide the protection against rain, fog, snow and humidity. The standard also describes the ways in which these requirements are to be tested. A considerable number of professional groups who seriously require workwear that complies with the standard EN 343. In some circumstances waterproof workwear is crucial for any outdoor work activities such as construction or installation technology. In this article we will explain the meaning of the standard EN 343 and what requires specific attention when purchasing this waterproof workwear.



The EN 343 standard promotes two high values: waterproofness and water vapour resistance, also called breathing capacity. In the icon of the EN 343 standard, these values are represented by an X-value and a Y-value, in which the X-value stands for the class of waterproofness and the Y-value stands for the class of water vapour resistance. The work garment for both waterproofness and breathing capacity is classified under one of the three classes within the EN 343 standard, if a work garment satisfies a certain minimum value. The class for the waterproofness and the class for breathing capacity are not interdependent. For example, a product could have a strong waterproofness (class 3) and at the same time have a less strong breathing capacity (class 1).

What are the differences between these classes?

Workwear for traffic marshalls


The big difference between the classes is the extent to which protection is provided.

Class Waterproofness
1 ≥ 80 cm
2 ≥ 80 cm (after pre-treatment)
3 ≥ 130 cm (after pre-treatment)


As shown in the table, the level of waterproofness for class 3 must be 130 cm, whereas for class 1 and 2 this is 80 cm. For Class 2 and class 3, there is a requirement that these standards are met, even after several treatments. This means, for example wear, bending or the influence of oil or petrol.
The waterproofness is measured by use of a water column: a tube with a diameter of 2.5 cm. This tube is placed on the material and filled with water. If, for example, the column is filled with up to eight meters of water and the material starts letting through water, this implies a waterproofness value of 80 cm.

Class Water vapour resistance
1 ret > 40
2 ret 20-40
3 ret < 20


In addition, requirements are made to the water vapour resistance, the breathing capacity, because waterproof workwear may be impeding, by definition, for the degree in which water vapour (the form of perspiration) can be drained. There are three values for that; every class has its own value here. The water vapour resistance is expressed by the ret-value (retention value). The lower the ret-value, the better it is for the breathing capacity. In table above, the three classes and the associated minimum requirement are summarised.



Manufacturers do not need to visit a testing company to be granted the EN 343 standard for their products. The lack of waterproofness and breathing capacity is not life-threatening. That is why the manufacturers themselves assess whether their products satisfy the EN 343 standard. Then how will you know if the workwear you purchased has the desired quality? It would be unpleasant to get drenched, while assuming you are wearing waterproof workwear. We have thoroughly tested our products and made sure that our workwear requires the EN 343 standard. That is how we know that the workwear, sold with the EN 343 standard, is actually waterproof and has a high breathing capacity.

High visibility work coat



In table below, you can find which Tricorp workwear satisfies the EN 343 standard. Part of our waterproof workwear also satisfies the high standard for visibility workwear (EN ISO 20471).

RWS in this case stands for Rijkswaterstaat (Dept. of Public Works and Water Management). This means that this workwear meets the additional requirements of this Department.



The Parka Multi-standard and the Parka Multi-standard Bi-color are also part of our wide variety of waterproof and multi-standard workwear. We are always available for more information or personal advice.

Shop workwear with the EN 343 standard

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Bi-Color Parka, ISO 20471

Bi-Color Parka, ISO 20471

€139,77 excl. VAT

3 variants | 403004

Parka High Vis Bicolor

Parka High Vis Bicolor

€109,41 excl. VAT

3 variants | 403020

Multi-Standard Parka

Multi-Standard Parka

€195,44 excl. VAT


Winter Tech Shell RE2050

Winter Tech Shell RE2050

€182,53 excl. VAT

2 variants | 402708

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