Domestic manufacture and supply of critical PPE has been a key focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure industry and health stakeholders can access the most up-to-date information, Standards Australia technical committees have been reviewing recently published international standards and have recently adopted several key ISO standards for Australian use.
The current joint Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1716:2012, “Respiratory protective devices,” specifies requirements, performance, and testing criteria for the manufacture of respiratory protective devices (respirators) intended to provide protection against atmospheres containing substances that may be harmful if breathed, and atmospheres that may be deficient in oxygen.
ISO technical committees have produced a comprehensive range of respiratory protection standards covering the following areas:
- ISO 16900 series, which covers test methods (14 parts)
- ISO 16972–ISO 16975, which covers vocabulary, classification, marking and information, selection, and use.
- ISO 16976 series, which covers technical information and data relevant to the performance and design of products (eight parts)
- ISO 17420 series, which covers performance requirements for various type of respiratory products (nine parts)
The full range of these standards is approaching completion by ISO technical committees; however, it is important to note that some documents remain under development at this time. Australia participates in the development of these ISO standards and as new parts and versions are published, they will be reviewed by the relevant Standards Australia technical committee for potential adoption.
All standards under consideration for adoption undergo a nine-week public consultation period. Interested stakeholders can login to Connect to make a public comment. Subscribe to Standards Australia’s E-News for notifications of projects available for comment.
What will happen to the Australian standard AS/NZS 1716:2012, “Respiratory protective devices”?
As the new ISO document series are adopted for Australia as voluntary standards and technical specifications, AS/NZS 1716:2012 will also remain current. Once the full suite of AS/NZS ISO respiratory standards are adopted, Standards Australia technical committees will, in consultation with interested stakeholders, determine an appropriate transition period for the withdrawal of AS/NZS 1716:2012. It is recommended that stakeholders seek relevant expert advice including the consideration of any regulatory or legislative requirements when selecting an appropriate reference standard.
What does this mean for those already certified to AS/NZS 1716:2012?
The adoption of these new standards does not affect current certification to AS/NZS 1716:2012 unless expressly specified by a regulatory or legislative requirement. Standards Australia is neither a government agency nor a regulator and is not involved in the certification or testing process to determine compliance with an Australian standard. For information on the certification of specific respiratory protection standards, please contact an accredited certification body, which can be located using the JAS-ANZ Accredited Bodies directory.