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Surf Life Saving Australia research helps inform the new Australian Standard for Lifejackets

Surf Life Saving Australia  research helps inform the new Australian Standard for Lifejackets
August 24, 2015

Innovative and world leading research conducted by Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has helped inform the newly published Australian Standard for Lifejackets.

Released by Standards Australia, the updated publication includes a new Level 25 class of lifejacket that has been informed by innovative and world leading research into low buoyancy lifejackets conducted by SLSA.

The new Level 25 class of lifejackets has been designed to fit the needs of high performance sporting applications including some surf life saving sports, surfing, kiteboarding and wakeboarding.

During the revision process, the industry focused on ensuring that lifejackets are both comfortable and ergonomic. They also ensured that a broad range of water activities were considered beyond boating including rock fishers, paddle craft and high performance activities.

The standard paves the way for manufacturers to release new certified designs to meet the performance needs of athletes whilst also providing an added assurance of safety.

Commenting on the new Standard, SLSA Coastal Risk and Safety Manager Anthony Bradstreet stated "the new Level 25 Lifejacket provides a new comfortable product that doesn’t restrict the wearer, it opens new possibilities to manufacturers and the community to wear even more comfortable lifejackets in high performance sports.”

Since February 2014, SLSA has supported the Australian Standards Committee in developing a new specification for buoyancy aids for use in special performance activities including surf life saving.

This is part of SLSA’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of water safety and event safety for its members and the general community.

SLSA Sports Manager Nathan Hight added "this new standard brings SLSA one step closer to implementing low buoyancy lifejackets in some surf life saving sport activities as part of our commitment to enhancing safety in our sport.

"There are four more very important milestones which SLSA is working to complete prior to the 1st October 2016 implementation date."

The five step stage leading to implementation of lifejackets in surf life saving sports is:

1. Publication of the revised Australian Standard AS4758 Lifejackets. 
2. Research and consultation is undertaken to define appropriate and evidence based thresholds for heightened risk conditions where lifejackets should be worn. 
3. Further testing of the Level 25 Lifejackets are conducted under conditions of heightened risk in consultation with surf sports athletes. 
4. A suitable supply of approved lifejackets are available to the membership. 
5. Risk assessment procedures, tools and education requirements are developed and trialled over the 2015/16 season to assist determination of heightened risk. 

Click here for more information on AS 4758.1-3 :2015 Lifejackets on the SAI Global website.

Image used for illustrative purposes only.

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28th March 2013 - SURF LIFESAVING PROFESSIONALS REJECT COMPETITION SAFETY GEAR

29th March 2012 - MISSING COMPETITOR PUTS FOCUS ON SURF LIFE SAVING EVENT SAFETY

 


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