The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on jobs, human health and the everyday lives of Australians. Standards Australia has announced that it will continue to work alongside business, government and the broader community during this time, in a way needed by the Australian community. The pandemic is shifting the way industries work, as the challenges of complex global supply chains are brought into focus. Working in the national interest, to the net benefit of Australia, is vital.
To support the COVID-19 response effort, Standards Australia has released a statement confirming that it will continue to support consistency and the ability of businesses to scale into new areas. Standards have a key function in supporting quality, promoting safety and assuring consumers of what they are buying, and the services they are accessing.
Those designing, producing or buying equipment directly related to the COVID-19 global pandemic are encouraged to consult Standards Australia for quality and safety. As an example of the resources available, some standards relevant to the pressing need for face masks include AS/NZS 1716:2012, which provides guidance for performance and testing criteria for the manufacture of respiratory protective devices intended to protect against atmospheres containing harmful substances.
The AS/NZS 1715:2009 standard provides guidance for respiratory protection, including respiratory hazards, the assessment of associated risks and various methods of control including the use of respiratory protective equipment. The AS 4381:2015 standard provides guidance for single-use face masks which are used in health care, where it is necessary to restrict cross-contamination between healthcare workers and patients. Further standards pertain to gloves, gowns and related areas of demand, and are available through Standards Australia’s distribution partners.
Standards Australia also advises that it has been working alongside the relevant federal government agencies to provide standards for personal protective equipment (PPE), which are available for download. Those interested in this area, including current and prospective producers, are encouraged to respond directly to the Request For Information (RFI) issued by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) around PPE in Australia. The link is available on tenders.gov.au. Standards Australia has said it will remain proactive in minimising the barriers in the way of Australian businesses providing products and services needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
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