New Australian Standard for Life Jackets

On 13 August 2015, Standards Australia published a revised edition of the AS 4758 series of Australian Standards on lifejackets.

The AS 4758 series consists of the following:

AS 4758 Lifejackets
AS 4758.1 Part 1: General Requirements
AS 4758.2 Part 2: Materials and components – Requirements and test methods
AS 4758.3 Part 3: Test methods
The objective of the AS 4758 series is to provide manufacturers, regulatory authorities and wearers with the requirements for lifejackets suitable for use in or near water. The term “personal flotation device” or “PFD” has been replaced with “lifejacket”, a more widely understood term.
Mr Nick Byrne, Chairman of Technical Committee CS-060, Lifejackets and Personal Safety Equipment for Small Craft, said, “The new Australian Standard AS 4758 provides a set of requirements for lifejackets for a range of activities. Manufacturers can choose to use this Standard and build upon it to develop increasingly wearable products.”
“Millions of Australians take part in water activities each year for leisure or work. This updated Standard provides the opportunity for manufacturers to make lifejackets that are innovative in terms of form, function and wearability,” said Mr Byrne.
“This new edition of the Australian Standard AS 4758 includes new buoyancy categories for competent swimmers, young children, and brought requirements in line with international standards,” said Mr Byrne.
Some of the main changes include:
AS 4758 Lifejackets, Part 1: General Requirements
•        Addition of a new L25 buoyancy category for competent swimmers for specialist activities
•        New requirements for a body mass of between 5 and 10 kg
•        Harmonisation of L50 buoyancy requirements with international standards.
AS 4758: Lifejackets, Part 2: Materials and components Requirements and test methods
•        New requirements have been included for inflation indicators and gas cylinders.
AS 4758: Lifejackets, Part 3: Test methods
•        New requirements for inflation indicators, weight categories, performance levels and performance testing.
The revised standard was developed by Technical Committee CS-060, Lifejackets and Personal Safety Equipment for Small Craft. Stakeholders from governments, regulators, industry associations, testing bodies, and water sports associations constitute the Technical Committee.