CICA, Research & Analysis

Changes to AS1418.1 Standard

Brandon Hitch

The Australian Standards for cranes are being transformed to make them more relevant for developments in crane technology. Cranes and Lifting magazine spoke to Brandon Hitch, CEO, The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA), about the changes.

CAL: What is the standard aimed at doing?

BH: The new revision of the AS1418.1 Standard will provide uniform requirements within Australia, for the design and construction of cranes, hoists, winches and their components, and appliances intended to carry out similar functions and similar lifting appliances.

CAL: Who will benefit most? 

BH: The crane operator, although this may not be obvious since AS1418.1 is a design standard, is not a safe use standard.  There are 10,000:1 crane operator to crane designers in Australia.  The modernisation of the design standard indirectly improves the latest safety features and operational benefits to the operator.

Cranes have evolved over the years and ISO Standards have been reviewed and revised to accommodate changes to modern cranes which is what the user and industry need. The new AS1418.1 revision refers to the ISO standards which are regularly reviewed and updated. Operating a crane is high risk work, so crane design must follow the latest Standard.

New Standards address issues such as fatigue through knowledge gained from failures to give safer workplace for the operator.

Many of the specific crane types reference this general standard, so updates to AS1418.1 have a flow-on effect for tower cranes, bridge and gantry cranes, hoists, etc.

CAL: Is there anything unique about the standard?

BH: The new AS1418.1 Standard considers the latest international standards relevant to each section and publishes a series of standards in preference to incorporating them in the one part. So, when new editions of relevant International Standards became available, they can be adopted and published within the framework of AS 1418.1 with minimum delay, ensuring continued international alignment.

The downside of this approach is that several ISO standards are required for purchase and the historical Australian Standards acquired over time are no longer relevant to AS1418.1.

CAL: Is it a revised or completely new publication?  Is there an international equivalent or anything at an international level?

BH: This revision will have only the Australian specific requirements, recommendations and information and all other sections will refer to the respective ISO Standards with modification and adopted as new AS Standards.

Some contents in the old version that apply to only one type of crane, have been deleted from the new Standard and will be moved to their applicable part.

CAL: What will the impact be on the industry?

BH: Our Australian crane design Standards will align with international crane technology developments, this supports Australia’s growing reliance on and participation in, the global manufacturing environment and various international trade agreements.

CAL: Is there a bigger program of work for the committee?

BH: As there is no one equivalent ISO standard to replace AS1418.1 -2001, multiple ISO standards were adopted in the new revision.

The committee work program consists of more than 20 projects including:

• Identify the appropriate ISO standards

• Evaluate each identified individual ISO standard, and the changes and modifications required for the adoption.

• Develop modified appendices where ISO Standards are adopted with modifications

• Develop modified appendices where revisions are needed on the contents from the old version

After the revision of AS 1418.1 and ISO standards are adopted as Australian Standards and published in 2020, the AS 2550.1 will be taken up for revision.

The forward work program will be to review each crane-specific standard to assess the impact of the new AS1418.1 and determine if a revision is required.

For more information, please email: Alice Edwards at

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