There are a number of Standards that are applicable for the Australian workplace with respect to working at height and confined spaces. Australian Standards give us a set of guidelines, specifications and procedures for the purpose of ensuring products, services and systems are safe, consistent and reliable.
Australian Standards are not legally enforceable, unless referenced by Legislation.
The creation of the relevant Standards is overseen by Standards Australia through a committee process, with a process to periodically review the documents for changing industry developments.
There are a number of International Standards (ISO Standards) that have also been recently adopted by Australian Standards. The ISO is an International Standards body that has a number of representatives from national Standards organisations, and it is currently the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards.
Standards are only available for purchase from Standards Australia. See www.standards.org.au for more information.
The key Standards that apply include:
Some of the Standards listed are in the process of review by Standards Australia. The WAHA actively participates in the SF015 Committee process to create and review these Standards.
Other Standards that may be encountered include European Standards (EN Standards). These are developed by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which is a non-profit Standards organisation officially recognised by the European Union. Equipment manufactured to these standards are widely recognised as providing an appropriate standard that is maintained across the industry irrespective of geographical location.
American Standards (ANSI Standards) are also often referenced which include the development of Standards with ASSE International, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
WAHA members can participate in the Standards process through Working Committees which provide direct industry review and commentary prior to publication. Alternatively, access to information as to the progress of changes and updates to Standards can be accessed through the member meeting forums.
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Benefits of Australian Standards
Standards mean better value for all. They ensure the quality and consistency of products and services, giving businesses and consumers greater peace of mind. They also benefit the economy, improve health and safety, protect our natural resources, and improve our quality of life.
Here are six key benefits of Australian Standards:
- Boost confidence: Thanks to standards, businesses and consumers can feel confident that the products and services they develop and/or use are safe, reliable and fit-for-purpose.
- Enhance innovation: Standards are a launch pad for exciting new ideas. They can be created, evolved or discarded according to our changing world. New standards are developed to reflect the latest technologies, innovations and community needs.
- Give products a competitive edge: In the eyes of consumers, products that comply with Australian Standards offer added value. International Standards give Australian exporters an instant competitive advantage when moving into overseas markets.
- Reduce barriers to international trade: Regardless of where a product is made, standards mean it can be sold and used around the globe. Opening new doors to international trade, standards help Australian businesses compete globally and to a wider market.
- Reduce red tape: Standards assist with harmonisation across Australia’s laws and regulations. They offer an alternative to regulation, reducing business costs and decreasing red tape, but still providing security for businesses and consumers.
- Help businesses thrive: Standards are central to Australian business. They make business transactions simpler and more efficient, assisting with risk mitigation and compliance. Put simply, standards help our businesses thrive.