Industry Standards

What is a Standard?

Standards are published documents that set out specifications and procedures. These are designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they were intended to. They establish a common language which defines quality and safety criteria.

Each Standard is uniquely identified by a letter/number combination termed the ‘designation’. The designation of an Australian Standard broadly follows the following rules:

  • Prefix: Letters identifying the primary publisher, publication type and additional publisher information. The most commonly used ones for Safety are:
  • - AS: Australian Standard.
  • - AS/NZS: Joint Australian/New Zealand Standard
  • Main Number: Uniquely designates the Standard. It is usually sequential but in some cases the number may be specially assigned
  • Part Numbers: Sequential, identifies the document as part of a series of related Standards with a common main number
  • Year: Year of publication of the Standard.

PPE or Personal Protective Equipment refers to anything used or worn to minimise risk to workers’ health and safety. This may include, but is not limited to: Boots, Ear Plugs, Face Masks, Gloves, Goggles, Hard Hats, High Visibility Clothing, Respirators, Safety Harnesses, Safety Shoes & Sunscreen.

Work Health & Safety Duties

Under the model WHS laws, PCBU’s (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) must put control measures in place if it is not reasonably practicable to eliminate a health and safety risk in the workplace. Control measures may include PPE as an interim or last resort or as back-up.

Where PPE is to be used it must be:

  • Selected to minimise risk to health and safety, including by ensuring equipment is:
  • - Suitable for the nature of the work or hazard
  • - A suitable size and fit for the individual who is required to use it and that it is reasonably comfortable
  • Maintained, repaired or replaced, which includes ensuring the equipment is:
  • - Clean and Hygienic
  • - In good working order
  • Used or worn by the worker, so far as is reasonably practical

A PCBU must:

  • Consult with their workers when selecting PPE
  • Ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that the PPE is used or worn by the worker
  • Provide the worker with information, training and instruction in the proper use and wearing of PPE and its storage and maintenance.

PPE must be provided by a Company, Business or Employer unless it has already been provided by another one. For example a business may not need to provide PPE if the worker’s labour hire company provided them with it.


Further information can be accessed from Safe Work Australia at: