New draft Australian Standard..

New draft Australian Standard
DR AS5327:2018 Earthmoving Machinery – Access systems

On December 7 2018 DR AS5327:2018 Earthmoving machinery – Access systems was released for comment.
This standard is an Australian adaptation of ISO 2867:2011. It is intended to replace the withdrawn AS 3868:1991 Earth-moving machinery – Design guide for access systems.

I have reviewed the draft standard against –
–  ISO 2867:2011 (as the draft standard only contains the additional or replacement clauses for the international standard and not the whole draft standard)
–  AS 3868:1991 Earth-moving machinery – Design guide for access systems &
–  AS 1657:2013 Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders – Design, construction and installation

The first comment I have is that the new AS 5327:2019(?) will be far more comprehensive than the previous 1991 Australian standard giving both detailed and practical information regarding what compliance with the standard look like.

Secondly there are a number of mandatory requirements as well as recommendations that are different to AS 3868 or AS 1657. When the standard is released I will release a comprehensive list of those changes. For now though, I think that there is one significant change that is noteworthy on its own and as such I believe will impact upon the earthmoving supply chain as well as the earthmoving and construction industries the most.

Currently AS 1657 imposes a requirement to have a guardrail in place if a machine platform is more than 2m above the ground or nearest platform. At Plant Assessor we have used a height of 1.8m due to a risk based approach and advice from our auditor. ISO 2867 requires a guardrail if the platform height is 3m above the ground or nearest platform.

The draft standard requires a guardrail if the platform is more than 1m above the ground or nearest platform. This is quite a departure from the existing position applied in Australia. Given that the definition of platform is, “a horizontal surface intended for the support of persons engaged in operation or maintenance” it could be interpreted that all open cabin equipment with an operator station where the floor is 1m or more from the ground will require a guardrail which under the new standard will also require a self closing inward opening gate or sliding guardrail as opposed to a chain or cables.

This will affect machines such as medium size excavators, open cab rollers and site dumpers to name a few.

Here are the applicable clauses for your review –

A fee copy of the draft standard (changes from the ISO only) can be accessed by clicking on the link below –

Plant Assessor will be providing comments to the standard committee regarding this issue, if you wish to comment you can too by clicking on the following link (comments close on the 8th of February 2019) –

Questions or comments? Call our friendly team, or click ‘contact us’ below.


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