Australian Standards

What is a Standard?

 Standards are published documents setting out specifications and procedures 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.

Standards can be:

  • International standards

Developed by ISO and IEC (and others) and are used directly or adopted by other standardising bodies.

  • Regional standards

Prepared for use in a specific geopolitical region, the best known is the European Union (EU) where EN standards are used. Joint Australian/New Zealand standards can also be considered regional standards since they apply equally in both countries.

  • National standards

Prepared, adopted or approved by a national standards body or other body accredited to produce national standards.

For example, Australian Standard® brands Standards are either developed in Australia or are adoptions of international standards.

Australian and joint Australian/New Zealand standards are practical and don’t set impossible goals. They are based on sound industrial, scientific and consumer experience and are regularly reviewed to ensure they keep pace with new technologies.

They cover everything from consumer products and services, construction, engineering, business, information technology, human services to energy and water utilities, the environment and much more.

In addition to Standards a range of supporting documents are also produced. These include Handbooks and Technical Reports and their role is to provide guidance and assistance on implementing Standards.

Summary of Australian Standards

Confined Space

AS2865 – 2009 Confined Spaces.  Please DO NOT work from the 1995 version.  Click here  2865-2009

This Standard sets out the particular requirements and risk control measures for the safety of persons entering or conducting tasks associated with a confined space.

This Standard is intended to help designers, manufacturers, suppliers, modifiers and users of confined spaces to achieve a safety outcome. It is not exhaustive in its coverage, but it is intended to cover those areas which are of particular concern in regard to confined space safety.

NOTE: Further information may be found in legislation, Standards, Codes of Practice and guidance notes.

Requirements and controls for general occupational health and safety risks (e.g. welding safety, prevention of slips and falls) are dealt with in other Standards and regulations and are not specifically addressed in this Standard.

This Standard does not cover underground mining, tunnelling, excavation work, trenching, abrasive blasting or spray painting. In such cases, other safe systems of work apply.

This Standard is not intended to cover confined spaces that are not at atmospheric pressure. At pressures significantly higher or lower than the normal atmospheric pressure, expert guidance should be sought.

Many enclosed or partially enclosed spaces are not confined spaces in accordance with the definition in this Standard. Specific areas such as dangerous goods and hazardous substances storage areas are subject to their own legislation, Standards or Codes of Practice.


AS1891 – Industrial Fall Arrest Systems and Devices comes in four parts:

  • AS/NZS 1891.1 – Part 1: Harness and ancillary equipment  Click here 1891.1-2007(+A2)
    This Standard specifies requirements for the materials, design, manufacture and testing of harnesses, lanyards, pole straps and associated equipment including connecting devices and personal energy absorbers for industrial restraint and fall-arrest purposes. Appendices include test methods for equipment items and assemblies, and for component materials.
  • AS/NZS 1891.2 – Par 2: Horizontal lifeline and rail systems –  Click Here 18912
    This Standard specifies design and performance requirements for systems and associated component hardware for horizontal lifelines and rails used for fall-arrest purposes. The Standard covers systems using either rigid rails or flexible lines. Test methods are given in Appendices. NOTE: Prescribed configurations for horizontal lifelines which are deemed to comply with this Standard are specified in AS/NZS 1891.2 Supplement 1.
  • AS/NZS 1891.3 – Part 3: Fall-arrest devices Click Here 18913
    This Standard specifies requirements for the design and performance of fall-arrest devices comprising devices which travel along either a fixed or flexible anchorage line, and those which pay out an anchorage line.
  • AS/NZS 1891.4 – Part 4: Selection, use and maintenance  Click Here 1891.4-2009
    The objective of this Standard is to provide users of fall-arrest systems and devices with requirements and recommendations relating to their selection, use and maintenance.