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When you have to get an access cover or grate, there are some things you should look out for to ensure you get the best quality and it will suit your intended purpose. One of the most important things to consider is compliance with Australian standards for covers and grates.

This article explains the importance of access covers and grates conforming to Australian standards.

First, though, we will answer what standards are and whether it is compulsory to comply with them.

What are standards? Is conforming to standards compulsory?

Standards are published documents designed to guide and help ensure safety, performance, reliability through the specifications of goods, services, and systems.

In other words, the reason for the existence of standards is to ensure products or services meet quality requirements and are safe to use.

Standards are not laws in themselves, so it is not mandatory to conform to them generally. However, standards become mandatory if there are laws that make complying with them compulsory.

Sometimes, international standards differ from Australian standards. In cases like this, a duty holder should comply with Australian standards to prevent legal liability.

Now that you know about standards, we will look at Australian standards that apply to access covers and grates.

Australian standards for access covers and grates

The AS 3996:2019 covers access covers and grates for use in both vehicular and pedestrian applications. It applies to single or multi-part access covers and grates where any single cover does not exceed 1300 mm clear opening. The covers and grates could be made from grey and ductile iron, cast and manufactured steel, aluminum, concrete, and polymeric materials.

We will now look at why you should insist on access covers and grates that comply with Australian standards.

Why should your access covers and grates comply with Australian standards?

Access covers and grates that conform to AS 3996:2019 are the best for you due to the following reasons:


Access covers and grates serve for a long time because they are not convenient to replace frequently. This is why you need them to last for a considerable period of use. AS 3996:2019 standard has a minimum service life of 25 years for covers and grates made from polymeric materials and 50 years for those made from all other materials.


Safety is paramount in the use of access covers and grates. AS 3996:2019 standard stipulates If used in vehicular areas, they must be strong enough to bear the expected load, so they do not collapse and lead to dangerous accidents.

The standard also covers other safety requirements that, for instance, will prevent bicycle tires or shoe heels from getting caught and injuring people.

To prevent injuries from your access covers falling from heights, AS 3996:2019 standard stipulates a fall arrest.

At CivilCast, we ensure our products conform to all relevant Australian standards to ensure safety and durability. We invite you to check out our Access covers and connect with our representative, who will answer any questions you have about our products.

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