What Australia’s changing fire safety standards mean for businesses
Industry professionals in Australia are most likely aware of the importance of workplace health and safety. There were over 130,000 serious claims and more than 169 fatalities reported in 2021, showing that accidents can have severe consequences for businesses and their employers.
While fire can pose a serious threat to any organisation, it can be especially hazardous for those that use mobile and transportable equipment. Industries like mining, quarrying, construction, civil engineering, timber, waste, and heavy vehicles are particularly at risk.
AS 5062 was introduced in 2006 to ensure compliance and provide guidelines for fire protection in mobile and transportation equipment. At the time it was introduced, it was the first of its kind in the world and has since gained recognition in North America and Europe.
Compliance with AS 5062 is essential to ensure your fire suppression systems function properly during a fire. The standard not only saves lives by ensuring operators are able to exit vehicles safely during an emergency, but it may also protect the vehicle from severe damage by minimising the impact of a fire.
The AS 5062 standard had a major update with its third edition released in 2022, which was needed to address critical areas that required upgrading. Some sections have been enhanced, had details strengthened, and new information introduced throughout the standard.
Changes to AS 5062: what you need to know
The AS 5062 standard has undergone some exciting changes that put a renewed focus on preventing fires in the first instance. In fact, one of the most notable changes is the revision of its name to Fire Prevention and Protection for Mobile and Transportable Equipment. This emphasises the need for machinery design to eliminate any possible ignition sources while the equipment is in use.
Other key changes include:
- Testing regimes: previously, AS 5062 only provided performance testing protocols for foam water spray suppression systems, but the revised standard now includes testing procedures for fire suppression systems that use different agents. This means that other types of extinguishing agents can now be tested to meet specific methods and best practices that adhere to industry standards like FM 5970 and UL 1254.
- Routine service schedules: the revised standard now includes daily service frequencies and servicing requirements at shift changes, which helps to ensure fire systems are always in top shape. Plus, the standard stipulates service schedules of six-monthly, yearly, and five-yearly, so you can plan ahead for necessary maintenance and keep your systems operating at their best.
- Special competencies: to ensure that fire protection systems operate as intended, the revised AS 5062 standard now requires all servicing to be performed by a competent person. This includes daily inspections, as well as scheduled servicing. It’s also important that the equipment is designed and installed by a competent person, and that any necessary manufacturer or product-specific training is completed. Businesses need to provide evidence of competency in line with the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the Fire Suppression Systems.
How Wormald complies with the updated AS 5062 standard
At Wormald, fire protection and prevention is our business. As one of the leading fire protection service providers in Australia, we understand the importance of staying up to date with changes in regulatory and industrial standards, especially those related to worker health and safety.
With recent revisions to AS 5062, we have already taken steps to ensure we’re aligned with the changes and well-positioned to help businesses meet the new safety standards and regulations. So, if you need assistance with fire protection for your mobile and transportable equipment, you can trust us to provide you with the latest information and solutions.
For example, our team has undergone comprehensive training for fire OEM products. This includes the provision of detailed baseline data, including 3D or isometric line drawings of installed fire systems, and thorough fire risk assessments that are all in line with the revised standard. We have even gone a step further, subjecting our foam systems to the more rigorous fire testing process outlined in the revised standard, ensuring the highest level of safety for your business.
By working with a fire protection services provider like Wormald, that is aligned with the new safety standards and regulations, you can be sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to comply with the revised standard, to ensure everyone is safe onsite at all times.
To learn more about our fire protection services, or for details on how your business can remain compliant with the latest standard, contact our team today on 133 166.