The Height Safety industry, both suppliers and clients, have seen a win this month with SafeWork NSW releasing their fact sheet which confirms their position pending the review of the Dysfunctional AS/NZS 5532:2013 standard for fall arrest anchors.
The AS/NZS 5532:2013 Standard was released in October 2013 by Standards Australia in response to the industry push for a revision of standards relating to fall arrest anchors used by workers when accessing roofs, and other height risk areas. The Standard was under developed. It is not technically up to date, does not reflect current practice, is not suitable for new and existing product on the market, and is not compatible with current views and expectations regarding quality safety, and the environment.
All this meant that the Standard essentially ruled out every available (or the most intelligent) product(s) on the market, and the financial cost to clients and companies increased, while ever the dysfunctional standard remained enforceable. A large portion of the Height Safety industry has been in constant contact with Standards Australia urging for a withdrawal or review of this standard. You will see reference to this, including a public forum held in February this year. Finally and at last, we see this month a Fact Sheet released by WorkSafe NSW that begins to acknowledge the systemic issues with AS/NZS 5532:2013.
Key takeaways from the documents:
- AS/NZS 5532 is a manufacturing standard; it does not address ongoing inspection, testing and maintenance and only addresses installation by way of specifying system design and installation information that is to be supplied with the anchors.
- AS/NZS 5532:2013 IS under review
- While AS/NZS 5532:2013 is under review product would be expected to comply with the strength requirements of the well-established AS/NZS 1891.4
- AS/NZS 5532 is not expected to apply retrospectively to existing installed anchors; AS/NZS 1891.4 would be the relevant standard to apply
You can read the entire fact sheet here: http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/media/publications/health-and-safety/fall-arrest-anchors