Bill looks at the new Australian Workwear Standards
At Maxcool, we don’t like to say ‘we told you so’, but as I wrote back in July, AS/NZS 4602.1:2011 has indeed been updated, this time with a focus on visibility and long-term effectiveness of safety garments.
What does this mean for you?Standards Australia has recognized that High Visibility workwear has a use-by date, with mandatory checking of garments every three to six months. The trend is now for safer garments – for example, Transport for NSW workers are wearing biomotion – twin-band-taping of minimum 50 wash tape. This means more cost-effective, longer lasting workwear.
Standards Australia also recognizes that the increasing amount of decoration on shirts (such as logos, patches, embroidery and screen-printing) may diminish the visibility of garment and therefore affect the compliance of the garment. Expect this to be part of the checking process too.
Given manufacturing variances over time, a product that complies at launch may not necessarily comply with today's standards.
Is YOUR current workwear still fit for purpose after 30 wash cycles – especially the reflective tape? Now is the time to make sure it is!
What does this mean for manufacturers?As of November 2016, Standards Australia has determined that all garments must be compliant from date of issue and retested for compliance on every batch. There was previously no obligation on manufacturer to retest their workwear, so if a manufacturer tested for compliance on 2011, they could still advertise them as being standards-compliant, even though they may not meet current amended standards!
Standards Australia also now outlines a lifespan for High Visibility garments; 3–6 months. After that, a critical analysis of the effectiveness of a garment must be reconsidered.
Manufacturers must now also adhere to new, clearer labeling requirements that make standards compliance easier for the wearer or their company.
How does Maxcool stack up?
Maxcool ensures all of our workwear meets these new standards:
- Maxcool Workwear has always and will continue to test every new batch of workwear, ensuring they meet or exceed current safety standards.
- We ensure that we only use materials which are both long-lasting and tough enough to ensure your workwear keeps on performing for as long as possible.
- Our workwear is even more cost-effective under the new standards, since our garments will need replacing less regularly than other brands.
Is your workwear compliant?Many manufacturers claim compliance which is outdated, or use cheaper, less-effective materials in their workwear. Be sure to check that their compliance procedures are certified and that their product or process is tested regularly, in line with the new Standards.
This new standard exposes the short longevity of cheap workwear, as many shirts will need to be replaced after only 30 washes! Maxcool workwear already meets the new AS/NZS Hi-Vis workwear amendments, meaning you’re safer in our gear.
Whether you’re purchasing Hi-Vis workwear for your own protection or if you’re responsible for the safety of others, ongoing testing of issued workwear is best practice.
After all, peace of mind is priceless!