As we move into a new financial year, I would like to take the opportunity to celebrate Standards Australia’s achievements in the year just concluded.
Last year, we forecast 403 publications, which we exceeded with 484 publications. This increase is consistent with previous years’ growth and reflects on our contributors’ dedication in challenging times. With the strong commitment of all involved, we have been able to deliver many projects ahead of schedule.
FY21 was a big year in terms of our ongoing transformation program. We are investing in technology and changing how we work with our customers and contributors to make their experience better every day. Over the financial year, we engaged many new staff with new capabilities to support and deliver on our plans.
April was a particularly momentous month for Standards Australia. After a culmination of years of planning and work, we launched the Standards Store. For the first time since 2003, Standards Australia has a direct channel to market, providing digital standards for our customers.
In FY21 we strengthened our engagement function to provide greater support to stakeholders and nominating organisations. The feedback on this change is that we are more responsive, easier to work with and, proposals are coming through the pipeline much more efficiently.
Other achievements include projects the international and national teams are working on in new areas and the graduation of our NEXTgen participants in May. I am eager to see their valuable input in the years ahead.
Additionally, we completed our Board led company governance review. Members strongly supported the adoption of a new modern constitution – which is available here.
We are incredibly appreciative of all the members, contributors, stakeholders and staff - who, working together, have helped Standards Australia deliver trusted solutions that truly improve life and empower communities.
While acknowledging these achievements I also note that there are still many other changes and critical improvements coming over the horizon.
— Adrian O'Connell, Chief Executive
Once a niche sport, the climbing industry in Australia is gaining popularity and now serves a highly diverse community.
Technical committee SF-047 Artificial Climbing Structures has recently revised AS 2316.1:2009, Artificial climbing structures and challenge courses - fixed and mobile artificial climbing and abseiling walls, and has released three standards in its place which better articulate test methods for artificial climbing walls, non-belayed climbing walls, and climbing holds to provide guidance to designers, manufacturers and facility operators to avoid injuries to climbers.
Read more about the changes here.
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
The go-to standard for assessing wind impacts on structures has recently been reviewed and published.
AS/NZS 1170.2, Structural design actions – Part 2: Wind actions, is a heavily used standard referenced by the National Construction Code of Australia and the Building Code of New Zealand.
Significantly, the revised standard reflects the current research and understanding of wind events and the ongoing effects of climate change, as extreme weather and climate events have serious impacts on our economy, society and environment.
Read more about standard here.
Revised standard to assist in lowering household energy consumption
In the average Australian home, water heating systems are the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, producing almost a quarter of household emissions.
Standards Australia has recently published a revised standard relating to the assessment of energy consumption for heated water systems. The updates within the revision, detailed here, now include guidance for evaluation performance assessment methods for larger systems and those using photovoltaic energy sources.
Green spaces: a cool future
COVID-19 has shone a light on the importance of outdoor spaces, with many of us in lockdown relying on green spaces as a circuit breaker, source of relaxation and a way to keep active.
With a growing reliance on outdoor spaces and denser populations, it’s important that urban infrastructures are developed to keep in the cool.
It’s vital that infrastructure planning incorporates Urban Green Infrastructure to cool down urban spaces to ensure liveable, sustainable, and resilient cities.
Read more about Urban Green Infrastructure here.
EL-011 sparks adoption of IEC standards
In 2018 Standards Australia adopted a suite of IEC standards under AS 62053 to improve safety and performance across industry.
Since then, IEC has made significant changes to their suite of electrical metering standards, so it is critical that Standards Australia remains current and aligns with these changes under modified adoptions.
The following article delves into the changes, which will see improved readability of the standards, allowing for better understanding and usability. It will also remove barriers for meter equipment manufacturers as all will operate to an appropriate minimum standard level.
Consumer Mirror Committee reflects consumer needs
When developing a standard for a consumer product or service, the voice of the end-user is often just as critical as the inputs from industry experts and manufacturers.
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) aims to support consumer participation through their Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO).
Consumer stakeholders engage with the COPOLCO process at a national level through Standards Australia’s COPOLCO Mirror Committee (CMC).
CMC ensures consumer participation in standardisation and, in turn, enables responsiveness to evolving societal needs. Find out more about CMC here.
Free access to Construct NSW e-module while tools are down
With the hard lockdown in NSW, construction workers were told to put their tools down. While they kept safe at home, Standards Australia offered free access to the e-learning module, The Value of Australian Standards, to help support their learning and development.
Until 1 July 2021, the module was voluntary. However, when NSW Fair Trading introduced residential building industry reforms, it became mandatory for Design and Building Practitioners prior to registration.
The module provides an overview of Australia’s building and plumbing regulatory framework, how and why standards are used in construction, and more.
In Conversation with Professor David Eager
David Eager is the Professor of Risk Management and Injury Prevention at the University of Technology Sydney. He is an internationally recognised expert on the safety aspects of trampolines and playgrounds, play surfaces, and sports and recreation equipment. Before starting life as an academic, David worked in the mining, manufacturing and construction industries for more than a decade.
David sits on seven Standards Australia technical committees and represents Australia on ISO/TC 83 and ISO/TC 254, and ISO on CEN/TC 136 and CEN/TC 152. In 2020 David was awarded the Standards Australia National Meritorious Contribution Award for dedicated service in standards development.
Standards Australia (SA): How did you first become involved in standards development?
David Eager (DE): In the mid-90s, I was the Secretary of the NSW Branch of the Australian Acoustical Society (AAS). During an AAS Board meeting, I was advised that the Engineers Australia position of Acoustic definitions AV-001 and Acoustics human effects AV-003 were vacant. I loved applying my technical and management skills to standards development. Soon after, I joined ME-051, Amusement Rides and Devices and CS-005, Playground Equipment (both of which I am still a member).
SA: How do standards impact and interact with your industry?
DE: My industry (if you want to call it industry) is tertiary education, specifically engineering. Standards are vital to engineering. They serve as minimum technical and safety thresholds in every area of society.
SA: Is there a particular project you’ve worked on that stands out to you?
DE: There are three projects that stand out. The first is EV-015, Greenhouse Gas Measurement and Accounting, in which I was involved in the early 2000s, a forgotten time when Australia took the effects of climate seriously. The second is CS-100, Trampolines, which I had the privilege to chair for 13 years. AS 4989, Trampolines for domestic use - Safety aspects, was special as it made a measurable impact on removing the two major categories of trampoline related injuries (fall-off and fall-onto). AS 4989 embedded two important engineering interventions, namely: frame padding and containment barriers. Like many engineering interventions, these interventions remove the source of the injury and the trampoline user is rarely aware of the potential hazard as it has been eliminated. The third is my enjoyable 25-year association with Standards Australia and 80+ standards that have my paw prints on them.
SA: What is the future of standardisation in your area of work?
DE: It is very exciting. SF-047, Artificial Climbing Structures, which I chair has recently published a three-part standard on climbing, abseiling and bouldering walls. SF-047 has expressed a strong desire to apply their extensive expertise to flying foxes and high ropes courses. I am looking forward to leading this team of dedicated professionals as their knowledge is recorded in a world leading standard. My dream is our colleagues from across the ditch will join the SF-47 team and enjoy the ride.
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.
Highlights from July (PDF)
- Update from July 2021 SMB Meeting
- Quality management systems — Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001 in policing organization
- IEC issues new report on digital healthcare
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. With the launch of our new public comment platform, draft standards currently open for comment are now available via Connect.