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Wednesday, 31 August 1994
Page: 743

(Question No. 1556)


Senator Bell asked the Minister representing the Minister for Administrative Services, upon notice, on 8 July 1994:

  (1) With reference to the Gestetner Laser printers located in Senators' and Members' offices, what is the purpose and meaning of the following message which is attached to the printers, `Certified to comply with Class B limits Part 15 of FCC Rules. See instructions if interference to radio reception is suspected.'

  (2) Are the appliances which are supplied to Senators and Members tested for electromagnetic radiation; if so, which tests are applied, and by whom; if not, why not.

  (3) Is any guidance given to departmental staff about suitable locations and operating environments for office equipment such as photocopiers, computers and printers, fax machines and their accessories; if so, are the guidelines available in printed form.


Senator McMullan —The Minister for Administrative Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) publishes regulations covering equipment which may produce radio-frequency emissions, in order to limit interference with other equipment, particularly radio communications equipment. Part 15 of these regulations covers radio-frequency emission levels permitted in commercial (Class A) and domestic (Class B) environments. The requirements for Class B compliance are stricter than those for Class A.

  In Australia, these standards are specified under the Australian Standard AS 3548, which are the same as the US FCC standards.

  (2) For computer equipment and printers, the most powerful source of electromagnetic radiation is the monitor. Any monitors being purchased by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) for Senators' and Members' electorate offices are certified by the manufacturer to comply with the very strict Swedish MPRII standard, which is emerging as a world-wide de facto standard for electromagnetic emission limits. Any printers supplied to Senators' and Members' offices by DAS comply with Class B emission standards of AS 3548 (equivalent to FCC Rules Part 15) and are tested by the manufacturer.

  For other equipment, the manufacturers are responsible for testing for compliance to relevant standards.

  (3) Yes. DAS has policies on Safe Use of Screen Based Equipment (Policy No 13) and Non-Screen Office Machines (Policy No. 14). These policies are contained in the DAS Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Manual (together with nineteen

other policies) and are distributed to all areas of DAS through OH&S contact officers and OH&S safety representatives.