I’m sure that many of you searching online for drug and alcohol assessment tests have encountered the Australian Standards AS3547 certification, and are curious as to what it is and what it means. This quick guide contains all of the relevant information that you need to know about alcohol testers, and the AS3547 certification put into effect by Standards Australia.
What are Australian Standards?
“Standards are voluntary documents that set out specifications, procedures, and guidelines that aim to ensure products, services, and systems are safe, consistent, and reliable.” (2019, Standards Australia). They establish a minimum set of requirements which define quality and safety criteria.
Not only does Australian Standards cover breathalysers and drug testing, they also cover construction, the environment, water and energy utilities, and more. For breathalysers, the relevant certification is Australian Standards AS3547.
How are Australian Standards applicable to Malaysia?
As there is no current regulatory body for alcohol testing devices in Malaysia, the Australian Standards are a good point of reference for us to follow. As there are many other breathalyzer brands and manufacturers out there, the majority of them do not adhere to any standards or testing procedures to ensure that their products are of quality. Even then, it is unknown if they are able to perform a local calibration for the device, or even a calibration for that matter.
Here at Andatech, we are able to perform local calibrations (in Malaysia and Australia only), and with our AS3547 certification, we are able to provide some of the best devices that are on the market today.
Who sets Australian Standards?
Australian Standards are set by Standards Australia, a Standards body recognised by the Commonwealth Government to coordinate standardisation activities. Standards Australia develops Australian Standards by working with the Government, industry and the community.
Are Australian Standards compulsory for all breathalyzers?
On their own, standards are voluntary. There is no requirement for the public or for manufacturers to comply with standards. However, State and Commonwealth governments often refer to Australian Standards® (AS) or joint Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) in their legislation. When this happens, these standards can become mandatory.
It is not mandatory for breathalyzers (personal or workplace) to be certified to Australian Standards AS3547. However, breathalyzers with this certification are considered much more reliable than their uncertified counterparts. Only products that have met the stringent standards set in place by Standards Australia for breathalyzers can become certified.
Why is Australian Standards AS3547 so important?
Australian Standards AS3547 is important as it is the gold standard to identify which breathalysers are dependable and accurate. Having this certification shows that the breathalyser adheres to ISO and international product standards.
In order to meet Australian Standards AS3547, breathalyzers must meet a certain level of accuracy and be able to maintain that accuracy over the calibration period of the device. Having a breathalyzer with AS3547 certification ensures that the product is more reliable, and giving a more accurate reading than uncertified breathalyzers.
Must I buy an AS3547 certified breathalyzer?
Any unit used in a workplace, law enforcement situation, or anything vaguely related to those incidents should comply with this standard because of the usability and reliability of the product. Even while purchasing a personal breathalyser for your own usage, it is highly advisable to purchase one that adheres to the Australian Standards. This is so that you are assured of the reliability of the device you are purchasing. Remember to calibrate your device every 6 months for peak accuracy as well.
AS3547 certified devices are recommended for workplace use because they are tested for reliability, especially since they will be used rigorously and frequently. The unit will also be able to be serviced, and much more reliable in terms of checking for the workplace safety of employees. The net benefit of having such a device is easily recognisable for workplace reliability.
Are Australian Standards legally binding?
Although the Australian Standards are a great point of reference for businesses and products, they are not legally binding. If an Australian Standard becomes incorporated into a government legislation, the Standard then becomes mandatory.
The use of Standards vary. The are usually referred to within contracts to specify minimum standards that parties need to meet, and is able to be enforced if a party does not comply.
Incorporation of Standards into Codes of Practice are common, especially within workplace health and safety recommendations. Even though the Codes are not necessarily binding, they are usually referred to by inspectors enforcing WHS standards. If Australian Standards are applied to your business or products, it shows that you have taken measures to ensure your products are of quality, and that they have been thoroughly checked and qualified for commercial usage.
Where can I buy an Australian Standards certified breathalyzer?
Andatech personal breathalyzers and workplace breathalyzers have passed and been certified to Australian Standards AS3547. Our breathalysers have undergone extensive laboratory and field testing by SAI Global (SAI), in order to get the certification. SAI Global is the country’s leading independent non-governmental testing and certification body licensed by Standards Australia to distribute Australian Standard® brand standards.
Having the AS3547 certification, you can be assured that Andatech alcohol test breathalyzers are accurate, reliable, and proven to perform better than other breathalyzers which lack this certification. This also means that our breathalyzers are serviceable and well-supported through a strict control process as a safety device.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your business’s needs.
Written by Eugene Ng