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The current version of SANS 1534:2004 (1.4) has been in practice since 2004. Since then quite a few changes have occurred within the mining industry. An attempt was made to start the reviewal process of this Standard in 2009, but this reviewal process never came to completion. A renewed effort was made in 2015 when it came to light that the current South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has only been conducting partial testing against the standard for renewing the product Mark. They subsequently halted all audits and testing for certification to this standard.

The reasoning for the stoppage was based on the fact that  the test block used by SABS was full, and they were not able to obtain a new certified test block. A technical reason for the stoppage is that industry has moved away from a 19mm diameter capsule, and this was the only specified capsule for pull testing in the current standard.

The suppliers contacted SABS to expedite the review of the Standard to align it with current practice in the industry, as well as to protect the integrity of the Standard due to it essentially regulating a safety critical product being used for underground mining roof support.

The focus for the review was a change in the pull test methodology, including revised specifications that would enable any size of capsule to be tested in future. The new method also does not require a certified concrete block but was instead based on laboratory short encapsulation pull test pipes, which has become an accepted standard test practice.

Other minor syntax changes were made, and with added experience since 2004, changes to the description and specifications of dual speed products, length and rigidity were also affected.

The technical committee reviewing this standard has effectively finalised it, the committee comprised of both manufacturers, technical experts and end users. The SABS also stated that they have circulated the draft standard to Mining technical personnel during the review process, and that they have included the comments made by these individuals.

The final draft Standard was submitted to the SABS editors at the end of 2017. Proposed editorial changes were requested and finalised in February 2018. In March 2018the Standard was reported to still be with the editors, after which it will be circulated for public comment. The current feedback with the SABS states that the document will be released on the 11th July 2018 for comment over a 60-day window.

The current risk which faces the industry is that there is no practical standard for the certification of resin capsule manufacturing and performance in place, which poses a safety risk as new resin capsule suppliers are supplying resin capsules to the industry without certification (current standard) and no knowledge of the proposed changes to the standard.

Any assistance in the expediting of the issue of the new revised SANS 1534:2017/8 Standard would be greatly appreciated.