Our birthday Standards Heroes have been nominated by their peers to represent all our contributors - individuals we consider to be the real heroes of standards, in Australia and internationally. We thank those who contribute their knowledge and expertise, service, and time to Standards Australia for the benefit of the Australian community.
Lisa Stevens has managed health and safety in many universities and research facilities. She supports the development of standards in safety in laboratories and chemical aspects and storage.
How did you become involved in standards development?
I fell into standards development by default back in 2011. My manager suggested I join one of the working groups for the CH-026 Safety in laboratories committee. I wasn't sure I had anything to offer besides working and managing safety in universities and medical research facilities; I guess I was bringing a different perspective. It seems like a lifetime ago, but three working groups later resulted in me becoming a participating member of CH-026, representing the Australian Institute of Health and Safety.
What role have standards played in your career?
There are probably not too many days I am not reading an Australian Standard. Standards have played an important part in my career, whether teaching laboratory safety, undertaking laboratory safety audits, or auditing OHS management systems. The standards constantly inform my professional practice and help organisations understand laboratory safety, risk management, OHS management system or how to guard machinery.
What is a project you’ve been particularly proud to have helped deliver?
The proudest moments were the delivery of AS 2243.1, Safety in Laboratories -Planning and organisation, and AS2243.2, Chemical Aspects and Storage.
Outside of standards development, what have been some highlights of your career?
Over the years, I have managed health and safety in several universities and research facilities. I have been fortunate to work with some incredible academics and researchers in various fields over the years. They have taught so much, and hopefully, I have taught them some things, but working in universities allows you to be exposed to so many different industries (from automation to horticulture, hospitality to circus arts, and the more traditional areas such as science, engineering, and trade-based studies). Managing safety in some of these areas has been challenging but very rewarding.
What do you think the future of standardisation looks like?
It is an interesting question, particularly with the move to not duplicate existing ISO standards. In the next ten years, I anticipate there will be a strong move away from AS and AS/NZS to the adoption of ISO standards. As to whether that is good or bad, I am not sure, but I think that with its standards development program and current catalogue of standards, Australia has the ability to have a strong and influential voice on those international committees. Standards will always have a place in guiding the industry in Australia.
Is there anything you’d like to say or mention about Standards Australia’s centenary year?
Standards Australia has been the backbone of industry for 100 years. Organisations such as Standards Australia need to develop and adapt as society grows. In a world of fast-developing technology, the role of Standards Australia will continue to grow to ensure that Australian industry is ready and able to meet the challenges on the world stage. Here's to the beginning of the next 100 years.