Overview of Norma Regulamentadora No. 6 (NR-6)
Established by the Portaria MTb nº 3.214 in June 1978, Norma Regulamentadora No. 6 (NR-6) set the regulatory framework to safeguard articles 166 and 167 of the Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho (CLT). This came after the amendments introduced by the Lei n.º 6.514 in December 1977, which reshaped Chapter V of Title II of the CLT, addressing Workplace Safety and Medicine.
Core Objective of NR-6
The pivotal goal of NR-6, as classified by the Portaria SIT n° 787 in November 2018, is to standardize the use of Equipamentos de Proteção Individual (EPI). Unlike other standards, NR-6 isn't restricted to specific economic sectors or activities. Its universal nature makes it a cornerstone for workplace safety in Brazil.
The Evolution of NR-6
Foundational Steps: The Tripartite Commission
In its nascent phase, a Tripartite Commission was formed via the Portaria SIT nº 11 in May 2002. The commission's primary duty was to assess equipment inclusions and exclusions from Annex I of NR-6 and decide which EPIs were subject to restoration and sanitation.
This commission evolved into the Comissão Nacional Tripartite (CNT) of the NR-6 by June 2008. With an expanded purview, the CNT was tasked not only with evaluating EPI classification but also supervising the Programa de Avaliação da Conformidade dos Equipamentos de Proteção Individual within the SINMETRO framework and suggesting technical regulation harmonizations.
NR-6: From Inception to Detailed Regulation
Originally, NR-6 encapsulated all directives related to EPI provision and usage, delineating the responsibilities of both employers and EPI manufacturers. Over time, the norm underwent multiple amendments, with the most significant overhaul in 2001. Some pivotal moments in its evolution include:
March 1983's amendments, updating EPI manufacturer registration procedures.
The annulment and subsequent reinstatement of the EPI manufacturer registration in the 1990s.
Inclusion of safety devices such as the suspended chair and safety fall arrest in May 1992.
Recognition of EPI importers in the NR-6 lexicon in 1992.
Classification of chemical protection creams as EPI in December 1994.
The extensive 2001 revision introduced several strategic changes, including an updated list of EPIs and the introduction of systematic evaluation processes for CA issuance. The revision also highlighted employer obligations, expanded manufacturer and importer duties, and established procedures for CA suspension.
Key NR-6 Changes in the 21st Century
With changing workplace dynamics and advanced safety protocols, NR-6 has continually evolved. Some of the noteworthy alterations since 2000 include:
The classification of ballistic vests for armed security personnel in December 2006.
Mandating the recording of EPI provisions to employees in August 2009.
Introducing adaptations for people with disabilities in October 2018.
The New NR-6: What Lies Ahead
Starting February 2023, the latest NR-6 version, set by the Portaria MTP 2.175 in July 2022, will come into effect. This version further solidifies the commitment to workplace safety and individual protection, ensuring the well-being of all employees across industries.
For a deeper understanding, we recommend visiting the and referring to the Manual of Orientation for Specification of Arc Electric and Flash Fire Protective Garments.
The journey of NR-6 is a testament to the evolving nature of workplace safety standards in Brazil. By staying informed and adhering to these guidelines, employers, manufacturers, and workers can ensure a secure and harmonious working environment.