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In this Edition

CEO Report

Emma Harrington

I am honoured to join Standards Australia as its Chief Executive Officer. Serving our stakeholders, and the Australian Community, is a privilege I hold in high regard.  

My initial attraction to Standards Australia stems from its purpose-driven ethos, which closely resonates with my personal values and professional aspirations. At the core of our organisation lies a profound commitment in assisting and serving others, a principle that guides my approach to leadership. I firmly believe in the importance of placing customers and stakeholders at the heart of everything we do. 

In this rapidly changing world, Iam determined to face change head on, ensuring we stay relevant to our stakeholders and community. I believe that adaptability, innovation, and resilience are indispensable qualities in navigating the evolving landscape ahead. 

As I transition into the CEO role, my first priorities will include listening and learning. I am eager to hear insights within your respective industries, how Standards Australia can best serve your needs, and what strategic considerations should guide our efforts to deliver on the organisation’s mission and vision. This collaborative process will take time, but I am committed in working together to shape our future direction. As part of this listening initiative, I will be immersing myself in the organisation’s experiences. This will involve meeting with colleagues, listening in on customer calls, engaging with members and stakeholders, and personally testing the Mobile app and Store experience.     

Our collective narratives are a testament to our shared commitment to excellence and service. I am looking forward to bringing the story of Standards Australia to life and amplifying the impact, influence and valuable contributions of our Members, contributors, and stakeholders.

Your perspectives and experiences are indispensable as we embark on this shared journey. With our combined efforts, we will uphold the legacy of Standards Australia and chart a course toward a promising future. 

Iam looking forward to working with you all, as the organisation moves into this new chapter.

In Conversation with David Solomon

David Solomon is the Chairman of Standards Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management Committee SF-001 and the Head of Delegation for OH&S Management. He also serves as the International Convenor of ISO TC283 WG4 - 45004 Working Group, responsible for developing a new international standard for OH&S Performance Evaluation. 

With over 30 years in the Building and Construction industry, he’s currently the Executive Officer for Safety, Housing, Technical & Risk at the Master Builders Association of NSW. 

Recognised for his commitment to safety culture, David has received numerous awards and was nominated as one of Standards Australia’s 100 Heroes in 2022 for his tireless work in standards development.

When did you first start contributing to the development of Occupational Health and Safety standards?

In 2014, representing Master Builders Australia. During my first meeting, I was identified as the “young blood” by the then Chairman, Prof. Dennis Else. This marked the beginning of my journey towards becoming a chair, a position I took up in 2019. I was mentored and taught how to approach international standards debates and the value of good compromise, which is essential in achieving successful  outcomes, such as persuading other countries to see the benefits of introducing or maintaining Australian content in ISO documents.


How have the standards evolved since then to benefit workers?

The development of standards has greatly contributed to the safety of workers and increased the awareness of standards existence. Studies have proven that having a safe system of work in place leads to a safer workplace. These standards, developed by the world’s leading safety experts, provide a set of internationally recognised criteria for safe work practices. They encourage lean management systems that are aligned with business processes. The recently published ISO 45004 OH&S Performance Evaluation offers guidelines and performance indicators, prompting businesses to consider safety controls suitable for their needs.  This not only assures workers that their employers are looking out for their safety, but also promotes safer ways of working and continual improvement.


Could you share any success stories or significant improvements in workplace safety and health due to the implementation of standards?

Certainly, the migration from AS/NZS 4801 to AS/NZS ISO 45001 OH&S Management Systems over a 17-year gap has led to significant improvements in workplace safety. This transition has incorporated developments in safe work practices, such as the introduction of WHS legislation in 2011, which mandates safety responsibilities for all  workplace participants. This includes providing instruction and training for equipment users, a requirement previously non-existent. The ISO 45001 standard, due for its first revision this year, addresses this safety evolution. It also covers other areas, such as continual improvement of OH&S performance, leadership commitment, risk management, safety in design, outsourcing, procurement, contractor management, and compliance evaluation.


What are some of the challenges your committee faces when updating existing standards to accommodate new technologies or practices in the workplace?

The main challenge our committee faces when updating standards for new technologies or practices is determining their relevance to OH&S. Items like Artificial Intelligence and Climate Change are often contested, as their impact on OH&S work  practices is not conclusively evidenced. We strive to make informed decisions  based on available academic studies and other evidence. The key focus is  whether these new technologies or practices can positively impact the  application of standards in the workplace. Despite the size of our committee  (30+ members), we often reach consensus without much contention. Trends from the northern hemisphere and internationally often stimulate discussions about their relevance in the Australian context.


Could you share any current work being developed by your committee and how this will impact organisations and the overall well-being of workers?

Our committee is currently developing several proposals in the OH&S realm, introducing topics for the first time that have never been standardised historically. These include guidelines for psychological health, risks arising from COVID-19, remote working as a result of the pandemic, and preventing exposure to infectious agents in the workplace. We are also working on standards for menstrual health and climate change-related risks. These efforts aim to ensure up-to-date, globally relevant standards that positively impact organisations and workers well-being.

Reader Room - More standards for everyday life

Standards Australia is committed to improve access to standards for all. In July 2023, the Reader Room platform was launched, providing no fee, non-commercial access to Australian Standards™ for personal, domestic, or household use.

As of April, Standards Australia is expanding the collection of standards available on the platform. Over 1,000 new standards and other publications have been added, including joint documents with Standards New Zealand. These additions cover a wide range of topics that are of interest to the general Australian consumer, such as:

  • Building and building products
  • Plumbing and plumbing products
  • Gas installations and gas appliances
  • Water efficient products and their ratings
  • On-site domestic wastewater treatment units
  • Electrical Safety and in-service inspection of electrical equipment
  • Measuring Energy Performance of domestic electrical appliances
  • Standards on consumer and domestic products including cots, beds, and other furniture; lifejackets; paints; pet food; soils for landscaping and gardens; sunscreen products; swimming pools and barriers; textiles and their labelling and care; and toys.

Kareen Riley-Takos, Chief Operating Officer at Standards Australia, said, "We are pleased to expand our Reader Room offering to also include the joint Australian and New Zealand standards. We will continue to work on increasing our offerings in the future."

Click here to access approximately 4,000 publications.

New partnership announcement

Standards Australia has partnered with Accuris, and content is now available via Engineering Workbench Professional and Accuris retail store. This includes Australian StandardsTM and other technical documents, such as ISO and IEC materials.

The partnership marks a significant step towards achieving Standards Australia's objective of delivering choice and value to the Australian market and addressing its evolving standards and compliance needs.

For more information, click here.

JTC 1 Plenary: Spotlight on emerging tech standards

This May, Standards Australia will host the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Information Technology Plenary for the first time in 17 years.  

The JTC 1 Plenary is a worldwide gathering of standards development experts, industry professionals, and government representatives. This year's event in Darwin will facilitate international discussions on standardisation's impact across various industries. A key priority of JTC 1 is to identify opportunities to facilitate JTC 1 standards development for future emerging and innovation technologies.

Additionally, through its delivery of the Critical and Emerging Technologies Project in South- East Asia, Standards Australia is supporting increased involvement from Standards Development Organisations in the region such as Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand.

JTC 1 recently published a technology trend report which highlighted the Metaverse as an emerging domain for standardisation. Read more here.

For more information on JTC 1’s work, click here.

New paper released on Smart Cities

Interested in how smart tech and standards can make our cities more liveable and safer? The new paper 'Smart Cities: An Essential Enabler for Australia’s Future' released by Standards Australia dives deep into to the key themes that shape a Smart City, explores the opportunities and challenges for practitioners, and offers recommendations on how Standards Australia, government and industry can collaborate to enhance city life for everyone.

Read the paper here.

Register now for our free webinar

We are hosting a free webinar where we'll explore the AS/NZSISO/IEC 27001:2023, a globally recognised standard for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). The event will provide professionals with crucial insights into how this standard can safeguard their organisation’s information and assets against cyber threats. 

Date and time: 

Thursday, 16th May 2024 -5:30-6:30pm AEST

Click here to register.

AI Management System standard online training

In February, Standards Australia adopted ISO/IEC 42001:2023 – Information Technology - Artificial intelligence - Management System. This world first standard is intended to be an integral part of improving the governance and accountability of Artificial Intelligence globally.

As part of the adoption, Standards Australia is offering an online training course in partnership with the Australian National University (ANU): 'Understanding AS ISO/IEC 42001:2023, Information Technology - Artificial Intelligence -Management System'.

Click here to enrol.

International Update

Standards Australia represents Australia on the two major international standards development bodies, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Our activities are reported on our International Updates page.

Sector Update

Access the latest standards development news in your industry sector via our Sectors page.

Drafts open for comment

The public comment process provides an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to make valuable contributions. Draft standards currently open for comment are available via Connect.