AlertForce Pty Ltd Ranked 19 on BRW’s Fast 100 List


Potts Point, NSW, Australia
  – 13 November 2014 – BRW recently released their prestigious Fast 100 annual list, recognising the fastest-growing start-up companies in Australia. Many promising businesses made that list, and AlertForce.com.au is proud to stand amongst them. Ranking #19 on the list for 2014, the compliance training company looks forward to networking with and learning from other Australian businesses.

In order to compile this list, BRW scores companies based on the following criteria: number of years in business, financial turnover the previous year, number of full-time employees and growth in company revenue. In order to qualify, companies must have at least four months of operational history, employ fewer than 200 full-time employees and prove revenue growth and a minimum of $500,000 turnover from the previous year.

Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce’s CEO, told SmartCompany.com.au that the company has enjoyed steady growth since 2009, but the progress over the past two years has been remarkable. This is largely due to the company’s expertise in national training standards for the removal of asbestos.

While many Australian communities struggle to clean up dangerous asbestos-containing materials in residential and commercial buildings, many asbestos-removal companies have made headlines for illegal practices. AlertForce has stepped up to provide training to businesses and individuals involved in the removal of asbestos safely and legally.

In addition to specialising in asbestos education, AlertForce offers comprehensive Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) compliance training courses that are accredited, nationally recognised and in line with current governmental regulations. A diverse collection of certification and diploma courses are offered, including some unique specialisations.

AlertForce allows students to select from online courses and classroom courses with live instructors. Some students complete their certifications through a blend of online and face-to-face classes. The format is flexible so that participants needs are accommodated.

What sets AlertForce apart from other WHS training programmes is a commitment to innovation and expansion. Brendan Torazzi is a well-known entrepreneur and stated that the company “always looked for little niches in the market where the government says training is needed by a certain date.” Brendan and his WHS experts look for those opportunities to provide essential health and safety training to a wider audience.

For example, the company recently announced a new programme offering mandatory training for those interested in the Government’s National Broadband Network. As new government regulations are introduced, the course offerings at AlertForce will expand. It is that rapid response to governmental training standards, top-of-the-field instructors and flexible course environments that skyrocketed AlertForce to the top 20 of the Fast 100 List.

Paralympians inspire safety at work [VIDEO]

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Working at heights training and other OHS programs are vital for reducing the risk of injuries in Australian workplaces. A fall from height can often result in serious injuries, such as paralysis.

Because of the high rates of accidents in local businesses, some of Australia’s most inspiring athletes have signed an alliance to help increase safety awareness.
The Australian Paralympic Committee has partnered with the Safety Institute of Australia in order to deliver targeted messages directly to workers. Paralympians will be travelling the country, sharing their real-life injury experiences with workers.

It is hoped the stories these athletes can share regarding their own struggles and rehabilitation will create a more tangible impact on OHS strategies than traditional training.

Allowing those who have sustained workplace injuries to share their experiences is just one way employers can boost OHS standards. Another is working at heights training from AlertForce.

Where can asbestos be found in the home?

Asbestos was a common building material in Australia prior to the 1990s. Beneficial for fire, sound and water proofing, this material was used extensively when building and renovating homes and commercial properties across the country.

This means that many houses built before 1990 therefore contain asbestos materials – posing a risk for any homeowner or professional undertaking renovations or demolition.

Understanding the risk of asbestos in the home is vital for ensuring families and workers are not accidentally exposed to this deadly material. A key consideration is engaging the services of a qualified professional – who has successfully completed asbestos assessment training – to conduct testing and appraisals before any work is undertaken on older homes.

For small jobs, however, it may not be reasonable to invite a professional in your home. In these situations, it is important that you are aware of the potential risks.

If your home or a property you are renovating was built prior to 1990, here are the six key areas where asbestos materials may be present:

  • The bathroom

As asbestos was often used as waterproofing and insulation, it is unsurprising that your bathroom is one of the most significant locations likely to contain this material.

The most common areas for asbestos to be present include the walls, ceilings and floors – particularly if cement sheeting was used during construction.

Another space to be aware of is the insulation around pipes and hot water heaters. In its friable form, asbestos was often sprayed onto pipes to protect against heat loss – making this a key concern for renovators and plumbers.

  • Living areas

If the property contains a fireplace, this is one location that is likely to contain asbestos. The product was proven to slow the effects of flames, making it an ideal fireproofing material. However, if the product was to burn, the resulting ash and dust would be a serious risk to health and safety if inhaled.

It is also recommended to be mindful of the total fire and smoke system, including the flue pipes.

Another location to consider is underneath the floors and within the roof space, as asbestos could have been used to insulate in these areas.

  • Kitchen

As a heat and waterproofing material, asbestos was often used in the kitchen splashbacks – that is, the panels around kitchen sinks and draining boards.

Additionally, asbestos will likely be present in the roof, walls and under the flooring. If your kitchen contains vinyl flooring, the material was often used as backing – so keep this in mind if you are ripping up old tiles or vinyl.

  • Outdoors

Due to the insulating and waterproofing materials of asbestos, this product was commonly used in exterior cladding. Be mindful of walls and roofs made from imitation brick cladding, concrete and even flat, patterned and corrugated sheeting.

Fibro homes are the most at risk of asbestos exposure, as this form of building material tended to always contain asbestos in Australia. Another area to consider is the guttering around your home, as asbestos fibres can collect here following storms.

In the backyard, any fencing and sheds built from similar exterior materials are also likely to contain asbestos products. Fences were built using asbestos up until the 1990s, with many constructed using “Super Six” fencing, according to the Queensland Asbestos Management Services.

  • Vehicles

Your home is not the only area where asbestos may have been used in the past. Mechanics and vehicle owners also need to be aware of the risks in their automobile.

Asbestos was used extensively in the automotive industry, with a ban on the products not introduced until December 2003. This means that if your car was manufactured prior to 2004, you could be at risk.

You need to take care when carrying out maintenance on the brakes, clutches or gaskets in particular. Any items installed or purchased before 2004 could contain asbestos fibres, creating a significant risk to your health and wellbeing.

If these parts become damaged in any way, you should take the vehicle to a trained and qualified professional as soon as possible and inform them of the asbestos risk.

  • Electric meter board

Not only could asbestos protect against water, heat and fire, it was also often used as an electrical insulation. Asbestos was added to other materials in the manufacture of electrical backing in a similar way to the creation of asbestos cement sheeting.

According to Ausgrid, electrical meter boards installed before 1988 may contain asbestos materials. Another important clue is the colour of your board, as relevant electrical boards were typically black.

The meter boards may also be stamped with one of several product names – Lebah, Ausbestos, Miscolite and Zelemite. Otherwise, it could have a caution sticker placed on or inside the box.

When employing an electrician to work on your board, it is important that you make them aware of the potential asbestos risk.  You should also discuss the work that is required and how they will manage the potential risk of exposure for themselves, you and your family.

Additionally, if working as an electrician in Australia, it is important to undertake asbestos awareness training to ensure you can identify and respond to deadly materials. This online course will give skills and knowledge to understand your risks and control the hazards related to your work.

Asbestos awareness training

With asbestos such a significant threat in Australia, it is important that you are able to identify the material in all locations within the home.

For those working in any trades related to plumbing, construction and electrical work, asbestos can be a very real hazard present each time you pick up your tools. For this reason, it is vital that you and your employees complete the necessary asbestos awareness training.

This course is offered online by AlertForce and works as an introduction to this crucial section of work health and safety (WHS) standards. To obtain a basic knowledge of asbestos in Australia and confidently put measures in place to reduce your risks, you should talk to the AlertForce team today.

Are you ready for Safe Work Australia Month? [VIDEO]

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We all know how important occupational health and safety strategies are in Australian workplaces. In an effort to boost awareness and encourage more businesses to adopt these life-saving practices, Safe Work Australia has launched its preparations for this year's safety month.

Safe Work Australia Month will be held in October this year. The theme for 2014 is Work Safe, Home Safe, which reminds us that our families are the most important reason for OHS standards.

If you want to get involved in safety month this year, you can consider taking part in one of our OHS training programs or signing up to become a safety ambassador in your community.

For more information on the workshops and events scheduled next month, visit SafeWorkAustralia.gov.au.

 

Third annual Mesothelioma Registry released [VIDEO]

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Asbestos exposure is a very serious problem in Australia, with people in a range of occupations facing potential contact with this deadly material during the course of their employment.

For employers, asbestos awareness and removal training is one of the best methods of mitigating the risk of exposure in the workplace.

To help workers understand the risks, Safe Work Australia – together with Comcare – have released the third annual Australian Mesothelioma Registry report.
According to the report, 575 people were newly diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2013. More than two-fifth of these patients are male, with 80 per cent being over 60 years of age.

Asbestos exposure continues to be a problem in Australia, with 60.9 per cent of workers surveyed by Safe Work Australia having experience possible or probable exposure in 2013.

For more information on asbestos awareness training, talk to AlertForce today.

WHS News Recap – WHS obligations [VIDEO]

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When dealing with work health and safety in the workplace, it is vital that you understand your obligations as a manager, director or officer.

The recent changes to the Work Health and Safety Act have meant that the company is no longer held primarily responsible for accidents, injuries and fatalities. This responsibility has also been extended to cover business officers and senior managers.

The ACT became the first Australian state to prosecute an individual under these new regulations. In a case involving the electrocution of a dump truck driver in 2012, the ACT Work Safety Commissioner identified a number of failings regarding the company director's responsibilities.

When the proceedings continue in December this year, the company officer is facing a potential $300,000 penalty. This shows just how important it is for directors and managers to understand their obligations, including the provision of relevant OHS training and personal protective equipment.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

WHS News Recap – Working at Heights [VIDEO]

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August is National Tradies’ Health Month, which means now is the best time to consider the Work Health and Safety risks that face tradespeople in Australia every day.

Working at heights is a common OHS hazard among tradespeople, with many individuals required to climb ladders and enter roof spaces to complete their work in the trades. With around 10 per cent of all work-related injuries caused by a fall from height, it is easy to see how working at heights training can benefit our nation’s tradies.

And this consideration is becoming more important, as the number of tower blocks and apartment buildings being raised across Australia continues to climb. Population growth is driving demand for more space-efficient housing solutions, which is in turn influencing a need for trained construction workers.

When individuals are working above ground on any project, having the right protection in place is key. Without training and fall-arrest systems, employers risk substantial fines or even injuries and fatalities on site.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

Asbestos Monthly News Round Up: August 2014

Asbestos awareness and removal is a vital consideration in Australia, as products containing the deadly fibres are discovered each day.

The country’s extensive history with asbestos has made this material a serious threat to homeowners and employees in many industries. It is important, therefore, that Australians know what trends and discoveries are affecting buildings and work across the country.

Here are just five recent headlines that shed some light on how asbestos continues to impact on local and international operations.

NSW joins asbestos campaign

As the campaign to remove loose-fill asbestos from home in the ACT continues, the NSW government has come on board, offering free inspections to any home built before 1980 in high-risk areas.

Thus far, NSW has lagged behind the ACT in terms of addressing the “Mr Fluffy” crisis, claiming that the asbestos was safe as long as fibres were undisturbed.

However, as the campaign to demolish affected ACT homes moves forward, NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet announced the state would conduct health assessments in affected homes to make a better informed decision.

“The NSW government is absolutely committed to ensuring the health and safety of all citizens in this state,” Mr Perrottet said in an August 15 statement.

“This commitment stands when it comes to the issue of asbestos.”

Fronting the campaign is the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA). This organisation is chaired by WorkCover’s Acting General Manager Work Health and Safety Division Peter Dunphy.

“While the investigation will help determine the extent of properties that may be impacted it is important to remember that the risk of exposure to asbestos in buildings containing loose-fill asbestos is likely to be very low if the asbestos is undisturbed and sealed off,” Mr Dunphy explained.

He added that sprayed asbestos insulation is a “highly hazardous” product, and should not be disturbed by homeowners or workers who have not undertaken asbestos removal training.

“Only qualified tradespeople with training in suitable asbestos control measures can work in any areas identified as containing asbestos.”

Garden mulch asbestos contamination discovered

mulchA recent asbestos scare has seen a number of Bundaberg residents unintentionally putting their homes and gardens at risk.

Many locals purchased garden mulch from the Bundaberg Regional Council rubbish tip. Unfortunately, a resident last month discovered small pieces of asbestos present in the product.

After sending the product away for testing, the tip continued to sell the mulch until the results were returned. This meant that dozens of residents had time to purchase and use the contaminated product.

A spokesperson from the council explained to NewsMail that residents who had bought the mulch were being contacted and offered assistance. The council planned to send a qualified professional to each home to test gardens and undertake any necessary decontamination.

Since the incident, measures have now been put in place to obtain contact details for those purchasing the council’s mulch, as well as improving monitoring of what is being dumped. Asbestos products are not normally allowed in the affected tip site, which means that material has likely been incorrectly disposed of.

Anyone concerned about their garden should contact the Bundaberg Regional Council on 1300 883 699.

Drive for education in Wollongong

The Wollongong City Council has pushed for increased asbestos education for residents. In addition to publishing a list of approved and licenced removalists, the council will also release an asbestos education program.

Developed by the Asbestos Education Committee, these measures will ensure that local residents are aware of their responsibilities regarding asbestos assessment and removal.

“All of the councillors were unanimous in expressing their concerns about the effects of asbestos on people’s health and believed council should and could do more to protect the health of Wollongong residents,” Councillor Jill Merrin told the Illawarra Mercury on August 10.

Unlicensed asbestos removal results in fines around the world

A number of recent court cases have seen unlicensed removalists be landed with heavy fines. While these trials were located overseas, they each demonstrate the serious nature of unauthorised asbestos handling.

In particular, an American man from Woodbridge, New Jersey has been given five years in prison for undertaking unlicensed asbestos removal in schools, homes, churches and pre-school centres.

The man came under investigation after authorities discovered asbestos dust and material had been left in a day care facility he had been charged to clear.

“[He] exhibited tremendous greed and callousness with his unlicensed and unsafe asbestos removal, putting the health of young children at risk so that he could turn a profit,” acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement.

Another case in the United States has seen a man from Lebanon, Oregon fined more than US$13,000 for allowing an unlicensed individual to undertake an asbestos project on his home.

Issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, fines regarding unauthorised asbestos work are handed out regularly to property owners and businesses. This particular fine was followed by a $8,800 penalty issued to a cafe in the same area that engaged the services of an unlicensed contractor.

This shows that it is important not just for removalists to access the appropriate licences, for also for homeowners to ensure they hire the right people to undertake asbestos-related work.

Unlawful demolitions a problem in Rockdale

The unauthorised demolition of a home in Bardwell Park, NSW is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to unlicenced renovations, according to the Rockdale Council.

While the owners of this particular property were given a stop-work order and a clean-up notice, a spokesperson from the council claims there are “dozens and dozens” of homeowners who are working on their homes without approval.

These individuals are not only putting themselves at risk, but also creating hazards for the health of neighbours and workers by potential asbestos contamination.

The home in this particular instance was over 70 years old, which means it is very likely it contained asbestos products, as reported by The Leader on August 15.

A suggestion raised by locals is for approved and assessed demolitions to be given official notices to be displayed prominently on the site. This will help the community identify illegal works, and should boost the number of unauthorised projects the council is informed of and able to stop.

The Rockdale Council has reissued warnings regarding older homes, particularly those that may contain asbestos materials. Residents who are planning renovations or demolition should engage a suitably licenced individual to assess the asbestos risk and, if required, carry out the removal.

Non-compliance with the clean-up notice could result in a fine up to $1 million for a business and $250,000 for an individual.

Want to know more?

Asbestos is a serious issue in Australia. If you would like to know more about this deadly material, check out the other stories on our news feed.

To access asbestos awareness and removal training, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

WHS News Recap – Traffic Management [VIDEO]

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Traffic management training is a serious work health and safety consideration for businesses across almost every industry. However, some sectors are more at risk than others, according to recent headlines from around Australia.

In particular, audits of mining companies in Tasmania in recent months have revealed troubling gaps in OHS standards. With safety inspectors overworked and underpaid, concerns have been raised regarding the efficiency of monitoring and controlling hazards.

Mining vehicles often reach immense size and weight, so preventing collisions is vital to reducing the number of fatalities in the industry. Fortunately, this is where comprehensive traffic management training can help.

Another area of significant concern is forklift safety in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. A Perth company was recently fined $30,000 when two untrained employees were injured after a forklift toppled over.

Operating a forklift is a high-risk occupation, so it is important that workers access all the necessary permits and training before jumping behind the wheel.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

WHS News Recap – Confined Spaces [VIDEO]

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Confined spaces can pose many work health and safety risks, due to dangerous atmospheres and limited entry and exit points.

This is why it is important for employers to understand the hazards their workforce could be facing, particularly in relation to accidents, injuries and fatalities in confined spaces.

Unfortunately, a recent case in Victoria has seen an employer fined for a second time regarding a fatal confined spaces incident in 2010.

Originally, the company was fined $80,000 for work health and safety breaches when a worker was overcome by carbon dioxide while moving stock in a confined space. With the right level of confined spaces training, the individual may have been able to identify the hazard and vacate the area before inhaling a fatal dose.

This year, the same company now may have to pay damages to another employee, who suffered anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the accident.

This incident demonstrates how vital it is to provide employees with a safe working environment in which to complete their duties.

For more information on this or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

Road surfacing safety a primary concern

Those undertaking a traffic management and control training program may be taking the first step towards a career in road construction and surfacing. Creating quality road infrastructure is a massive local industry, worth over $280 billion, according to Roads Australia.

With more than 817,000 kilometres of road network already laid across the country, maintaining the existing roads and building new network connections takes a lot of work. This is why civil contracting roles are always in demand, with more than 70,000 individuals employed in this sector in 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed.

Unfortunately, this essential industry can pose many risks to employees’ health and safety. When working on or near public roads, there are always traffic hazards present. Vehicles are one of the leading causes of work-related injuries and fatalities, according to Safe Work Australia.

Because of this, working near traffic has been defined as a high-risk activity, under the current Work Health and Safety Act.

As with any high-risk industry, understanding and controlling the hazards is a crucial consideration. Fortunately, with the right level of training and education, workers can easily minimise WHS risks. This is particularly important for traffic controllers – who are required to work directly with both civil and public vehicles.

Understanding the risks

In regards to addressing the risks traffic controllers face, industry authority, the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) has published an article in the most recent Asphalt Review dispatch.

The publication highlighted the importance of workshops and training for traffic controllers, citing a number of issues that may be influencing high injury and accident rates.

There have been a number of incidents that demonstrate the high-risk nature of surfacing work, particularly in regards to traffic managers. AAPA spokesperson Robert Busuttil pointed to one tragic day in November 2010, when two controllers were killed in separate events only hours apart.

On this day, a 45-year-old worker and a 23-year-old man within his first week on the job were both struck and killed by reversing trucks. Both men were employed as traffic controllers at the time of their death.

Following these accidents, the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) released a report looking into the WHS failings present in the road surfacing sector.

The key concerns identified in the 2012 dispatch included:

  • A lack of hazard awareness and induction training to both controllers and the persons responsible for creating Traffic Control Plans (TCPs)
  • Failing to update TCPs to specific jobs and locations
  • TCPs not inclusive of indirect hazards and how roadwork activities can affect a site

These dangerous issues are causing major hazards, as traffic controllers continue to work with limited knowledge of the risks they face each day. Additionally, managing the public and internal traffic can be difficult when not given an adequate or up-to-date control plan.

Addressing these concerns is a crucial consideration for any person working in or planning to enter the road surfacing industry.

Education is the key

Traffic controllers are a vital part of any civil construction project, with their work protecting the lives of their colleagues and the public. However, it is important that individuals employed in this role do not forget their own safety.

Fortunately, increasing the awareness and understanding of personal and site-wide hazards is simple when the right training and education is in place.

In this regard, the AAPA has developed a new workshop to improve WHS outcomes on civil construction sites. The Road Surfacing Awareness for Traffic Controllers course is aimed at improving the recognition of the hazards associated with related projects.

This important training program will include competencies relevant to:

  • Unique risks traffic controllers could experience – such as proximity to hot materials and working on public roads
  • Factors that can affect traffic control measures – including the introduction of work-related vehicles
  • Identifying issues which may compromise work quality and lead to extended project time and increased exposure to risks

Launched this month, the safety and awareness program is designed to help any worker who may be required to manage a traffic control plan. Additionally, supervisors and those responsible for approving or auditing these schemes can also benefit from the training.

Quality education from the beginning

Prior to undertaking employment in the construction, road surfacing or similar industry, individuals are encouraged to seek all necessary training. Rather than waiting until accidents and near-misses occur, undertaking a traffic control program as a preemptive measure can help mitigate potential risks.

In particular, any person who may be required to work as a traffic controller must access the mandatory traffic and pedestrian management and control training. Under state and federal legislation, all employers have a legal obligation to ensure only competent and adequately trained personnel are appointed as traffic controllers.

However, each state and territory is subject to different regulatory requirements. Understanding the specific courses and training needs in your area can be difficult. This is why it is recommended that you contact a registered training provider who can direct you to the most appropriate course for your needs.

This includes knowing when refresher training is required and which programs are needed prior to any work being undertaken. If you need any more information on traffic management and control programs, or want to access WHS training relevant to your industry, talk to the AlertForce team today.

AlertForce can help you meet your legislative requirements, as well as creating a training program that suits your role and WHS needs.

Asbestos dumping prompts call for education

A recent spate of illegal asbestos dumpings has highlighted the need for more awareness and control over this dangerous material.

On August 12, a large amount of asbestos was discovered strewn along the side of a busy road in North Rocks, NSW. This incident required hours of dedicated work safely contain and remove the material.

Several roads were closed as the clean-up was undertaken, and Council General Manger Dave Walker explained that it was difficult to tell just how much asbestos had been dumped. It appeared likely that the material has been deliberately thrown from the back of a truck, as it was spread across a 300m distance along three separate roads.

The council were taking this incident very seriously, and a full and thorough investigation is now underway. If caught, the individual responsible could face a fine up to $1 million and seven years in prison. Alternatively, if a business is found to be the source of this material, penalties would climb to $5 million.

"Asbestos dumpers are the most inconsiderate and reckless of all illegal rubbish dumpers – they put the long-term health of innocent people at risk," Mr Walker said.

Educating individuals and businesses on safe asbestos removal

While most people should now be aware of the dangers of asbestos material, it seems that many individuals are still practising unsafe dumping and removal. Unfortunately, this is not only putting themselves at risk, but also their families, friends and members of the public.

When an untrained person attempts to remove asbestos from their home or business, it is possible that the deadly fibres could become attached to their clothing, skin or hair. If the individual then heads home without changing their outfit, they are unintentionally exposing everyone they come into contact with to the material.

This means that your family and friends could be inhaling asbestos fibres all because you failed to undertake safe removal procedures. This is just one reason why it is vital that any person who may be required to work with or near asbestos is provided with the necessary asbestos awareness training.

As we head into spring, it is likely that the warmer weather could encourage more homeowners to start DIY projects. Home renovations and amateur construction projects are a hot bed for asbestos exposure, with untrained members of the public unaware of the potential danger.

This is why a number of licensed asbestos removal contractors and disposal facilities across Australia have launched a campaign to spread awareness.

"Exposure to asbestos is very dangerous there are many risks involved in the removal but if people are given the correct procedure to follow and the right equipment to wear there will not be any problem," explained Justin Castelluzzo, part-owner of Adelaide-based waste management company, Metro Waste.

"We tell every person that comes to the yard what's involved in correct asbestos removal and disposal and we still get a number of enquiries each day regarding the process."

While educating the public regarding the danger of asbestos works to a point, it is also vital businesses dedicated to the removal of the deadly material access all the necessary licences and training.

Often, companies and individuals rely on official removalists to undertake the process of containing and disposing of asbestos in the home or worksite. If these organisations are staffed by workers who have not obtained adequate education, permits or licences then significant hazards are likely.

How to become a qualified asbestos removalist

If you are interested in working as a qualified asbestos removalist, or have launched a business with this intention, it is vital that you understand how to access the necessary qualifications and licences.

Under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations, there are two key licences required by those removing asbestos products. Essentially, the Class A licence allows individuals to work with all kinds of asbestos, while the Class B is limited to non-friable material only.

These levels can be obtained by accessing the relevant asbestos removal training through a registered training provider, such as AlertForce.

Other crucial considerations are the asbestos supervisory licence and the assessors qualification. In some cases, asbestos removal projects will require a supervisor to be present at all times, while others may only need a qualified person on standby.

Conducting asbestos assessments with the intention of removal requires a person to hold specialist skills related to identification of hazards and control of air monitoring. Without the relevant Level 5 qualification, individuals should not be employed in this role.

More information on these particular obligations can be found at Safe Work Australia, or through your state's affiliate authority.

To access the necessary asbestos removal training to get yourself started in this career, talk to the AlertForce team today.

Government body fined after workplace death

Traffic management training is an important consideration not just for employees, but also any members of the public. Vehicles of any size or shape can pose serious risks to people's health and safety, and it is the employer's responsibility to ensure these hazards are mitigated.

When contractors are engaged to carry out high risk tasks, this issue becomes even more vital. A person conducting a business or undertaking cannot safely assume that a contractor will perform the necessary hazard checks. It is therefore up to the employer to ensure the individual has received the necessary training and understands the correct risk management processes.

This was demonstrated recently when a local government council was fined after a bystander was struck and killed by earth-moving equipment on a landscaping site in Stirling, Western Australia.

Failure to keep the public safe

The accident, which occurred in November 2011, involved a contractor who has been hired by the council to undertake landscaping works outside a community centre.

In the same area, a group of individuals were clearing a shed. The contractor had repeatedly told these people to stay clear of the vicinity. Unfortunately, when the landscaping machinery was being reversed up an incline, it struck and killed a man from that group.

The Perth Magistrates Court found that the employer, the City of Stirling, had failed to ensure the contractor had completed risk assessments in the area before performing the work. Additionally, the obligation for an employer to satisfy itself that the contractor was adequately reducing risks was also not met.

Because of this, the Court fined the City of Stirling more than $20,000 in compensation and costs. This decision was reached after much deliberation, with the final order being laid on August 6.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch explained that the tragic death of the bystander should serve as a reminder to employers to ensure that safety measures are always in place.

"This is especially important when mobile plant such as bobcats are in use in and around public areas," he said in an August 6 statement.

"The case also provides a reminder that workplace safety is the responsibility of not only the contractor performing the work, but also the organisation that engages the contractor."

As the City of Stirling employed the contractor to carry out the landscaping work, it was then the obligation of the government officer overseeing the project to ensure a job safety assessment (JSA) had been carried out.

"It was not alleged that the City of Stirling's failure to require a JSA caused the man's death, but had the City taken these measures, the risk of harm would have been reduced or eliminated," Mr McCulloch said.

Traffic management in public areas

Traffic management and control is not only to ensure those operating vehicles and mobile machinery follow the rules onsite. This training is also vital for protecting pedestrians and avoiding preventable accidents involving members of the public.

In particular, pedestrian management is a vital component of any traffic control training course. While this is most important for projects undertaken in public areas, it can also be beneficial for on-site work to ensure visitors and bystanders are protected.

When construction, maintenance, landscaping or any other work is being carried out close to where you can reasonable expect members of the public to occupy, it is vital that pedestrian controls are in place.

In the case above, the contractor had allegedly told the bystander to stay clear of the worksite. However, if physical boundaries had been in place, for example, the accident may not have occurred.

The very best solution for preventing traffic-related injuries and fatalities is to keep pedestrians and vehicles physically separated. This can be done by simply installing temporary barriers around workspaces. In the Western Australian case, mobile fencing could have been utilised to clearly mark where the worksite began.

However, in some circumstances this is not always possible. For instance, if the landscaping work required the contractor to move across the entire community centre grounds, it would not be reasonable for the complete area to be fenced-off.

Protecting the public with traffic management training

When physical barriers are not a reasonable solution, there are fortunately other options that can be put in place. In particular, any person operating a work-related vehicle near the public should be provided with traffic management training to ensure they understand the risks to themselves and others.

Another consideration could be to have a stand-by employee checking the area is clear before machinery is moved. In the case outlined above, the accident occurred when the equipment was reversing up an incline. It is possible that the bystander did not see or hear the machinery coming towards him, and was not visible to the operator.

In this case, simply having a spotter standing nearby could have ensured that both the member of the public and the driver were aware of each other.

Alternatively, the driver – knowing that people were nearby – could possibly have chosen to turn the machinery around. By reversing, the contractor potentially cut down his own field of vision and impacted on his ability to identify the risks and stop before the accident occurred.

There are many potential factors that could have resulted in a different outcome. Understanding how these influencers relate to your own undertaking is a crucial consideration. Fortunately, you can find out more information through comprehensive traffic management training.

To improve the safety at your site, get in touch with the AlertForce team to access training for you or your staff today.

WHS complaints rise in Queensland

New figures from the Queensland Work Health and Safety (WHS) authority show that the number of construction-related complaints has climbed significant over the past year.

This is according to an August 3 article published in The Sunday Mail, which revealed reports concerning safety breaches on local sites climbed to 2,765 for the 2013-14 financial year. In comparison, complaints reached just 2,092 in 2012-13 and 1,764 in 2011-12.

One of the key influencers driving the increased complaints is the growing public awareness of WHS standards. While in the past, the majority of complaints were issued from internal sources, recent years have seen nearby residents and passersby become more widely represented in the figures. According to The Sunday Mail, this could be because the popularity of shows such as The Block and House Rules, which commonly feature segments outlining safety procedures and awareness.

In addition to the rise in complaints issued, a WHS Queensland (WHSQ) representative has reveals that there were 10 workplace fatalities throughout the entire 2013-14 financial year. However, the current statistics show two people have died in work related incidents within a week.

One of the individuals was killed when the trench they were working in collapsed and engulfed them, while the second died after falling six metres on a construction site.

These incidents, and the WHS breaches that result in complaints, are demonstrations of the importance of correct safety procedures in workplaces. When policies are not present or not followed correctly, businesses can be hit with substantial fines or even experience serious accidents.

Making a WHS complaint in Queensland

For any individual who discovers a serious WHS breach, informing the proper authorities is vital for protecting the health and safety of employees and the public.

WHSQ supports this important process by offering an online complaint form as well as a direct phone line for those wishing to make a report. If an individual does not wish to reveal their identity, complaints can be made anonymously. This is important for any contractor or employee who may not feel comfortable reporting on their boss or colleagues.

Once a complaint has been received, WHSQ will review the details and take action depending on the nature of the breach. In many cases, this involves sending a Department of Justice representative to the site in question and ensuring those working in the area are aware of their obligations and best practice policies.

The Department of Justice inspectors issued more than 1,300 improvement notices in Queensland in the 2013-14 financial year. Around 750 projects were forced to halt their work due to non-compliant and high-risk activity.

Although the number of fines was down on previous years, 32 employers still received penalties of between $200 and $3,600 last year. The drop in overall fines issued is largely attributed to the change in philosophy by the Department of Justice. Now, the focus has been placed on working with builders and contractors to boost compliance prior to incidents being reported – rather than responding to accidents.

Addressing the rising complaints

With the number of complaints continuing to climb across Queensland's construction sites, the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland has revealed plans for a 2014-17 action plan.

This initiative will target "critical risks/issues related to fatalities" within the construction industry, with a focus on traffic management, falls prevention, site supervising and mentoring of young workers.

Another important factor for employers and workers to consider is asbestos exposure, with issues related to the dangerous fibres making up more than a quarter (28 per cent) of total complaints.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to address these concerns in workplaces and construction sites across Australia. In fact, there are a few simple measures that can be put in place to mitigate the risk of serious WHS breaches and non-compliance.

What can employers do?

When responding to the high number of workplace complaints, employers working in high-risk industries – such as construction – probably already have policies in place to boost safety.

However, in some cases, a basic knowledge of the WHS standards may not be enough to avoid accidents and injuries. In particular, when employees are not continually supervised and reviewed, they could make changes to their work behaviours which fail to meet safety requirements.

This is why it is vital that employers regularly check up on their workers and keep them informed and aware of their changing WHS needs. Additionally, employers, supervisors and site managers should undertake the following standards to ensure that best practices are being followed at all times.

– Know the regulations and requirements

When you want your workers to follow correct WHS policies, it helps to hold a thorough understanding of these practices yourself.

It is therefore important that all leaders and stakeholders access the relevant education that can help boost WHS compliance. This could include contacting your local Work Safe Authority, or undertaking comprehensive WHS training.

– Educate your workers

As well as increasing your own understanding and knowledge, it is vital that you provide all relevant workers with the necessary training to protect themselves and others. By giving employees access to these qualifications, they are more likely to work within industry standards.

While some competencies may be more relevant than others, the construction industry is an area that requires a large number of skills to operate safely. For instance, most workers within the building sector will need some level of working at heights training throughout their career.

This is reflected in the high number of workplace fatalities that are related to falls and working at heights. Once an individual is working two metres off the ground, their risk of serious injury or death increases dramatically. With much in construction work involving roofs and tall structures, this is an important consideration for all industry employers.

– Have all necessary equipment available

In addition to accessing the necessary training and education for you and your workers, it is crucial that the worksite offers all necessary safety equipment and set-ups.

Many WHS complaints involve environmental and situational issues, such as ladders being set on uneven ground or scaffolding placed under live power lines. Additionally, a lack of personal protective equipment is also a common reason for complaint.

For instance, a worker climbing over a roof without a fall-arrest system in place may be grounds for an official WHS complaint. Alternatively, unstable or unsecured scaffolding may also be cause for alarm. 

Addressing these issues is easy, when employers invest in the right equipment and environmental reviews. However, knowing which systems would be most beneficial and being able to identify and address potential risks is vital.

With WHS training and reviews, employers can ensure that they and their workers understand these factors – significantly reducing their risk of accidents and injuries.

If you need more information on your WHS training requirements, or how to improve safety on your construction site, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

Monthly News Roundup: July 2014

Another month has passed with serious asbestos revelations making headlines around the world. Staying up-to-date with asbestos-related news is an important consideration for any employer, as it helps increase awareness of the potential risks you and your employees could be facing.

With this in mind, here are four of the top asbestos-related revelations that dominated the news channels around the world in July.

Telstra terminates NBN asbestos subcontractors

Health and safety has become one of the defining features in the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN). With various risks and hazards present across the process, companies working on this vital project are encouraged to boost safety wherever possible.

This focus has led to a number of important policies, such as the introduction of mandatory NBN safety and awareness training for individuals working in particular roles.

Recently, major NBN employer Telstra has revoked accreditation of a number of subcontractors and individual workers, according to a July 28 article from The Australian.

"This decision was made after audits showed they were not meeting safety standards we ­expect for this type of work. These accreditation breaches were not limited to asbestos work, but included other issues such as traffic and pedestrian management," Telstra spokesperson Nicole McKechnie explained.

Last year, the rollout was delayed due to a series of asbestos scares, demonstrating the need for NBN individuals to undertake comprehensive asbestos awareness training.

More schools closed due to asbestos scares

Asbestos exposure is a serious hazard for many workers in Australia. Unfortunately, this risk can also affect people unrelated to their occupation – such as homeowners performing renovations.

Another major asbestos hazard is the historical use of the material in schools built across the country. This means that a significant number of children could be exposed at any time.

It seems that not a month can pass without another school being closed due to asbestos discoveries – and July was no different. In particular, Willetton Senior High School in Western Australia was closed down on July 22 in response to suspected asbestos.

"We've known Willetton is an old school and has been scheduled for major work as part of the rebuilding program," David Axworthy, a spokesperson from the Education Department told ABC Australia.

"The buildings that are to be demolished later in the year are routinely monitored and checked so during that routine inspection they found some broken ceiling tiles and other residue … that contained asbestos."

There are many schools facing potential asbestos risks, according to a 2013 government report, with several institutions in WA listed as needing immediate attention.

New threat in Gaza war

Residents in Gaza are not only facing the persistent threat of mortar shells and rockets. The war-ravaged southern communities are now being exposed to a secondary danger – asbestos.

A recent media report has picked up on the increased risk of asbestos inhalation, due to structures and buildings being destroyed in the fight.

Fortunately, the local councils are working hard to replace any asbestos roofs that may be in the line of fire. However, as shells continue to drop across the communities, the threat is becoming increasingly urgent.

"The problem is mainly with front-line communities, which are most vulnerable to rocket and mortar fire," Council Head Haim Yalin said, according to Middle Eastern news publication Haartz.

"Warehouses and other buildings also have asbestos roofs, but our first priority is to replace the roofs of residential structures."

Mr Yalin revealed that there are around 700 residences with asbestos roofs located along the Gazan perimeter. This means that any initiative to replace the dangerous materials will be a lengthy and consuming endeavour.

Former BHP worker wins asbestos damages case

A landmark case concluded in New South Wales last month, with a former BHP worker awarded more than $2 million in damages.

The ex-employee claimed that he was exposed to asbestos in the early 1980s due to negligence from his employer. The plaintiff is now suffering from terminal mesothelioma as a consequence of inhaling the fibres.

On July 31, the Dust and Diseases Tribunal found BHP guilty of negligence related to work health and safety standards. The Court then decided BHP would have to pay the worker $2.2 million in compensation.

"While today's verdict is a significant victory for Mr Dunning and his family, it does not take away from the fact that he is dealing with an incurable, terminal disease as a result of BHP's negligence," Joanne Wade, asbestos lawyer with Slater & Gordon expressed.

"We are extremely pleased that Mr Dunning can now move on and concentrate on spending his remaining time with his loved ones."

For more information on asbestos in Australia, check out our news feed. Get in touch with the AlertForce team to access a range of vital asbestos training programs.

OHS News Recap – NBN Safety and Awareness [VIDEO]

Transcript:

The National Broadband Network is being steadily rolled out across the country, with more Australian homes connected to the service every week.

As the project continues its campaign, regional workers may soon see job opportunities to land in their area. Overall, construction of the network is expected to employ 18,000 individuals, according to Deloitte.

The project to connect every Australian to fast broadband has started to infiltrate regional towns, with this activity expected to pick up this year. Over the past 12 months, 20,000 premises in remote and regional areas have been connected to the network. But there is still a lot of work to do.

Fortunately, those interested in taking part in the rollout, and working on sites in regional communities, can access the mandatory NBN safety and awareness training online through AlertForce.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

August is National Tradies’ Health Month

The health, safety and wellbeing of tradespeople in Australia is under the spotlight this month, as industry bodies launch the National Tradies' Health Month.

Throughout August, the Australian Physiotherapy Association – together with work boot manufacturer and supplier Steel Blue – will be supporting initiatives which raise awareness of the hazards in many trade industries. Of particular importance are musculoskeletal health issues, caused by lifting, slips, trips and falls.

"Too many tradies are injured on site every day, 80 per cent of injured workers in Australia are tradies and labourers," Steel Blue General Manager Ross Fitzgerald explained.

"We have been working closely with the Australian Physiotherapy Association to encourage a behaviour change amongst tradies, to make them more aware about the importance of health and safety, at work and home."

Trades can be the most dangerous occupations in Australia, with a vast and complex range of hazards present each time an individual commences work. Because of this, around 10 Victorian tradespeople are badly injured at work each day, according to WorkSafe Victoria. This means that 3,560 tradies sustain an injury that requires workers' compensation each year.

"The number of deaths, injuries and safety breaches prove that everyone – builders, contractors and workers – must do more to make sure workers get home to their families safely every night," WorkSafe Chief Executive Denise Cosgrove said.

According to Safe Work Australia, around 10 in every 100,000 workers claim compensation related to musculoskeletal disorders. Nearly a quarter of all roofers, labourers and plumbers experience back pain, muscle stress and strain from lifting equipment or slips, trips, and falls when handling materials.

"The injuries caused on sites are not always life threatening, but are often painful, costly and result in long periods off work," said Ms Cosgrove.

Unfortunately, when workers require time away from employment, mental health becomes another major issue among tradespeople. Statistics released on the official Tradies' Health website reveal that 18 per cent of injured workers sought mental health services after six months off work. After a year off, that number increased to 30 per cent.

What are the risks to tradies' health?

There are many potential risks to the health and safety of tradespeople in Australia. With these roles often playing a crucial factor in a number of industries, addressing every hazard can be challenging.

To help tradies and employers understand the risks facing tradespeople, here are five of the most common hazards.

  • Working at heights

Falls from roofs, ladders, scaffolding and other heights account for around 25 per cent of all workplace fatalities, according to WorkSafe Victoria.

Many trades-related occupations can require an individual to work above the ground. Every time a tradesperson climbs a ladder, they are putting themselves in danger of a serious injury or even death.

Fortunately, simply strategies can be put in place to avoid these accidents. In particular, employers should provide all at-risk individuals with necessary fall-arrest systems and working at heights training.

  • Asbestos exposure

When a tradesperson works on a building or structure that was built before 1990, there is a significant risk of being exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.

Each time a worker cuts into a wall, for example, the resulting dust could contain asbestos. If the individual was to then inhale the dust, they would forever be at risk of developing an asbestos-related lung condition.

It is important for all workers who may be working in environments that contain asbestos to access the necessary information and guidance. For instance, older buildings should have a register that indicates the presence of asbestos so workers can avoid dangerous areas.

Additionally, undertaking asbestos awareness training will ensure workers are able to monitor and identify asbestos fibres in any workplace – which is ideal for tradespeople who often move from site to site.

  • Electricity

Electricity is a major concern for some tradespeople, as their occupation may involve working directly with wires and other electrical equipment. For others, it is less of a persistent threat but can still pose a risk when working in certain locations.

Any tradesperson who may come into contact with electricity during the undertaking of their duties can follow a few simple practices to ensure their own safety. These include personally checking wires and equipment are not live before handling them and wearing the necessary protective equipment – such as thick gloves and rubber-soled boots. 

  • Heavy lifting

Musculoskeletal disease is one of the most common injuries reported among tradespeople, with the culprit usually being unsafe lifting procedures.

Back pain and muscle sprains are typical results of incorrect lifting, and these injuries can seriously affect a person's ability to continue physical work. If a tradie was to permanently injure their back, they could lose their entire income due to not being able to complete the tasks they are trained for.

It is therefore crucial that practices are put in place to promote safe lifting techniques, such as warming up and stretching before undertaking any strenuous labour. Whenever possible, physical lifting tasks should be avoided – employees need to understand when a crane, forklift or wheelbarrow is suitable.

Additionally, tradies need to be encouraged to ask for help. Some individuals may believe that asking for help would make them seem weak and unable to perform their job – however, seeking assistance is recommended and demonstrates an admirable knowledge of one's own limits.

  • Excessive noise

Tradespeople are often required to use loud equipment and machinery during the undertaking of their duties. For instance, an electrician may need to operate drilling equipment to access the wires in a structure.

Excess noise can also be a risk when operating a heavy vehicle or working close to other construction work. Unfortunately, once you feel pain the damage is already done, so it is important to put preventative measures in place.

Examples of this could be wearing earmuffs or plugs whenever you are using a hand drill or other loud piece of equipment. Noise-related hearing damage is permanent, so don't just put up with excessive sounds – talk to your employer or human resources department about the protection and policies you need. 

How can you get involved with National Tradies' Health Month?

There are a number of ways individuals and corporations can take part in National Tradies' Health Month. A variety of events are being held across Australia, raising awareness of the hazards tradespeople face and methods to control these risks. A list of the events can be found on Tradieshealth.com.au.

Alternatively, employers and tradespeople can register to host their own event – as well as access a range of WHS resources to share with staff. 

For a more unique and interactive approach to boosting hazard awareness, individuals can play the online game. The Australian Physiotherapy Association and Steel Blue have released this fun and informative game to encourage increased participation in WHS initiatives.

Need more information?

If you need more information regarding occupational health and safety in the trades, or would like to access a relevant training program, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

Seven step action plan for small business safety

If you own and operate a small business in Australia, then it is your responsibility to ensure your employees are provided with a safe working environment.

Work-related injuries and accidents are a serious issue across many industries, with a significant number of fatalities and workers' compensation claims being lodged each week.

According to Safe Work Australia, almost 100 people had died in work-related incidents in 2014 by the end of July. This amounts to nearly one fatality every second day. Reducing this number is an important work health and safety (WHS) consideration for any Australian business owner, as even one preventable death is too many.

Fortunately, SafeWork SA has released a seven step safety guide and checklist for small businesses. By following this plan, employers and owners will more effectively understand and meet their obligations regarding Australian WHS standards.

This action plan includes practical advice on how to improve safety in the workplace, with general information that can apply to a vast range of industries and occupations.

Seven steps to safety

There are many ways an employer can meet their obligations as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). Safe Work Australia explains that, as far as is reasonable practical, the primary duty of a PCBU is to ensure the health and safety of workers (and visitors to the workplace) is not put at risk.

In particular, it is vital that business operations and conduct does not create unnecessary hazards. This is why the seven step process is crucial for any persons launching a startup enterprise or running an existing small business.

The guide, released on July 30, encourages employers to work with their workers when addressing potential risks in the workplace. Safety improvements can be implemented more efficiently and effectively if all employees are aware of their responsibilities and requirements.

Prior to commencing the seven step process, PCBUs should compare their current operations with the WHS snapshot. This document helps employers identify where there is room for improvement and which areas should be priorities.

Once this has been completed, the seven step action plan should be put in place.

1. Set up a safe workplace

The very first action you need to take as a small business owner is to ensure the working environment is supportive of WHS standards. This includes investing in quality machinery, mitigating trip hazards and supplying any necessary personal protective equipment.

This step can generally be achieved by engaging a Safe Work representative to review your site. Once the potential hazards have been identified, policies and protection can be enacted to prevent accidents.

Other PCBU responsibilities include installing WHS information sheets and reporting procedures, to ensure workers and visitors are aware of crucial risks and practices. A common example of this is to have evacuation procedures prominently displayed in the workplace, where both employees and the public can find it.

2. Consult

As well as engaging the services of an official representative, employers should involve their workers in the WHS process. In South Australia, this is a legal requirement under the WHS Act (2012).

Your employees often have first-hand knowledge of the potential hazards they face during business conduct, so they can provide valuable insight into your WHS policies.

Consulting with your workers is not only beneficial for you, but will ensure that every worker is aware of the risks in the workplace. This review and discussion should take place whenever business processes and practices change, as any minor adjustments can affect potential WHS hazards – putting uninformed workers at risk.

3. Manage hazards

Once you have identified and addressed the numerous hazards in the workplace, ongoing management policies need to be put in place.

Having procedures in place will ensure that workers continue to follow WHS standards, particularly as regular reviews are made.

4. Train and supervise

Training is one of the most vital factors in improve WHS outcomes, as misinformed and untrained employees can struggle to understand and adequately address their risks.

Your WHS training requirements will vary depending on the industry in which your business operates. However, it is the duty of the employer to know and access the correct courses and programs for their staff.

For instance, any business that involves handling or working near materials that may contain asbestos could benefit from asbestos awareness training.

As well as investing in the required education, employers need to ensure that adequate supervision is provided to monitor new workers and those undertaking unfamiliar tasks. A competent supervisor will ensure that safety policies are being followed and correct procedures are in place. 

5. Maintain safety

Once the required training and policies have been integrated into the business, employers need to regularly check that these processes are still being utilised and have remained relevant and effective.

Hazards and operations can evolve throughout the life of a business, which means that original WHS standards may not suffice for future risks. By carrying out regular reviews and maintenance, PCBUs can ensure best practice policies are in action at all times.

6. Keep records

Documenting injuries, incidents and near misses is an important legal requirement for any business. This includes recording any maintenance, inspections and tests you perform.

By keeping this information on file, you can respond when your Safe Work authority requests the reports – which may occur in the event of an accident. This will also make it easier for you to monitor health and safety in the workplace, so you can quickly and efficiently act when potential issues are identified.

7. Monitor and review

As your business grows and evolves, so too could the hazards. It is therefore vital that you regularly review and improve your WHS standards and policies to suit your changing business.

If you need any more information on monitoring WHS in your business, or would like to access the training your staff require, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

OHS News Recap – Working at Heights [VIDEO]

Transcript:

Working at heights training is an important consideration in many industries across Australia, but some sectors are more dangerous than others.

In particular, the high risk forestry industry recently announced plans to continue a partnership designed to improve worker safety and awareness. The New South Wales WorkCover authority has signed an ongoing agreement with the Forestry Corporation to provide training in areas such as working at heights, traffic management and driver safety.

Within the construction sector, high winds kept workers on their toes in Victoria and New South Wales earlier this month. As bad weather swept across the country, various WorkCover bodies issued warnings regarding working at heights and the dangers of structure collapse.

As winter continues to create havoc across Australia, and spring approaches, workers in the southern states in particular need to prepare for ongoing strong winds.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.
 

Safety audit reveals gaps in Tasmanian mines

Mining is one of the most dangerous industries in Australia, with employees at every level facing a range of potential work health and safety (WHS) hazards.

In fact, approximately 3 fatalities occurred per 100,000 workers in 2013. Although this was a great result for the industry, which has seen historical fatality rates reach up to 12.35 deaths per 100,000 employees, it still highlights the dangers present in this sector.

Sustaining WHS standards is therefore a serious consideration for any employer in the resources sector. Unfortunately, mining business owners in Tasmania have their work cut out for them, according to a recent audit conducted by the University of New South Wales' School of Management.

The independent report, commissioned last year and published this month, found that serious deficiencies have led to various safety incidents over recent months. Lead study author, Professor Michael Quilan explained that Tasmania's regulatory framework is "deficient in a number of regards".

"It's imperative critical gaps in existing rules be addressed because most, if not all, are pivotal to preventing fatal accidents," he explained in the audit.

In particular, Professor Quilan investigated the training, presence and pay of safety inspectors across the industry. His findings revealed serious shortfalls in the number of mining-qualified competent persons available on a full-time basis.

The industry stakeholders surveyed by Professor Quilan commonly identified training as an area where improvements are needed. For instance, several interviewees claimed that no inspectors were available who held specific training and knowledge for the unique hazards associated with coal mining.

A lack of succession planning could be the leading cause of this issue, with no adequate training or induction processes in place when staff turnover occurs. Because of this, Professor Quilan urged Tasmanian mining employers to adopt mandatory training requirements, such as the policies currently in place in Queensland and other resource-reliant states.

The benefits of training in the mining industry

There are many reasons why training is a crucial consideration for mining employers, including the vast range of potential hazards each employee faces on every shift.

For instance, due to the complex nature of many mining occupations, a worker could be subject to risks related to confined space, traffic control and machinery entrapment all at one time.

Training individuals to recognise and address these hazards should not only help improve WHS standards, but can also lead to more efficient operations and increased profitability. This is because a decline in safety incidents will reduce the amount of time needed for injury recovery and accident investigations. In turn, this should lead to more time focused on daily operations and business-as-usual endeavours.

Because of the complexities of mining work, knowing what WHS training to access can be a challenge. To help you reach positive safety outcomes in your business, here are just four areas where training and qualifications can be beneficial to miners.

– Traffic management

Whether the mining operations are above or under the ground, traffic management training should be a vital consideration for any employer. This is because the resources industry often relies on large and heavy mobile equipment to move product across sites and through freight channels.

A particular hazard of underground mining is when these vehicles are required to enter the same shafts and confined spaces as pedestrian workers. Operating vehicles in shared tunnels can lead to collisions and crushing if adequate WHS policies are not in place.

Fortunately, traffic management training can help any employee understand the risks and avoid potential accidents. In particular, the use of vehicles in shared spaces – above or below ground – can be controlled to strict safety standards if each individual holds the necessary qualifications.

– Confined spaces

Underground mines can be dangerous environments to work in, due to the risk of poor atmospheric conditions, cave-ins and disorientation. Employers can protect their employees against these risks in a number of ways. 

Workers should be provided with comprehensive confined spaces training before entering any area with limited entry points. This competency will ensure that individuals are able to monitor their environment and utilise any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) if a hazard is present.

For instance, atmospheric testing can help employees identify whether oxygen levels are fluctuating – due to poor ventilation or an unexpected release of gas. If unsafe environmental conditions are detected, workers must be able to safely find, don and operate breathing apparatus and any other relevant PPE.

– Hazardous materials

Some mining situations can require individuals to handle or work alongside hazardous materials. In particular, explosive substances are commonly used in these situations.

Training is an important requirement which must be accessed before workers are given permission to handle such material. Unsafe or misinformed use of these items could lead to serious accidents, such as preventable fires and explosions.

Additionally, radioactive materials are sometimes present in mines – potentially creating significant health risks. Using the right PPE and protective clothing is crucial to avoid necessary exposure to unsafe materials.

– Emergency response

No matter how safe your workers are, accidents can happen. This is why it is vitally important that certain employees are trained and aware of their duties in an emergency. 

If an incident was to occur on your site, having qualified workers on staff will ensure that would-be rescuers do not put themselves in danger. This is of particular importance when dealing with confined spaces, where a significant number of fatalities are related to emergency response, rather than business-as-usual operations.

If you would like more information about WHS risks in the mining industry, or want to access the relevant training, contact the AlertForce team today.

AlertForce Becomes WorkSafe WA Approved Asbestos Unrestricted License Provider

For Immediate Release

August 25,2013

Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce, has recently become a WorkSafe WA approved provider of  Asbestos unrestricted licenses.

In Western Australia (WA) an unrestricted asbestos licence is needed for a business or an employer  conducting work involving the removal of friable asbestos or asbestos-containing material (ACM). No other employees regardless of any-related training, can partake in this type of asbestos-removal without an unrestricted license. AlertForce is now able to provide it’s much lauded  training and expertise to those interested in this crucial certification.

Friable asbestos is the type of asbestos that can be found in powder form, crumbled, or reduced to powder by hand pressure.This type of asbestos cannot legally be removed by a person who does not have a Class A  asbestos licence. This trained professional would be well-versed in the various methods of properly dealing with friable-asbestos (such as the wet spray method used to remove the material from structures and plants). Upon removing any ACM, the licensed entity must promptly inform WorkSafe Western Australia.Since friable asbestos is often found in powder form, it can be the most dangerous forms of the material, and could even become air-borne; extending the risk far beyond the confines of a business.

In order to apply for the unrestricted license, the license holder must submit an application fee, an asbestos removal work procedures manual, an asbestos removal work training manual; and a host of other requirements needed to support one’s application.

We at Alertforce are so excited to finally be able to provide the unrestricted-license for asbestos removal to Western Australia. We relish in any opportunity to help ensure the wellbeing of our nation’s workers and the community– especially when dealing with the dangers of friable asbestos! “ . Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

More information on Asbestos Training can be found here

Contact: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face-to-face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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WorkSafe VIC Approves AF As Asbestos B-Class License Provider

For Immediate Release:

August 21,2013

POTTS POINT, NSW- Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce (AF), is now an approved provider of Asbestos B-Class training in Victoria.

Since January 2013, a new set of asbestos training laws have been implemented that all Asbestos-industry professionals are required to adhere to. Now participants from Victoria can enroll in AF’s  training courses and receive up-to-date knowledge and experiences to effectively and safely attend to situations involving asbestos.

The main components needed to attain a B-class license are:

(1) Participants must enroll in Asbestos training courses offered by a licensed training professional, such as AlertForce. To qualify for the license, a company must have a trained Asbestos supervisor. Supervisors in charge of asbestos-related matters must complete the Supervise Asbestos Removal (CPCCBC4051A) course which will train participants to be competent in supervising the removal process of asbestos or ACM. This course will explore areas such as the planning and supervising of the removal of asbestos or asbestos containing material, preparing the worksite, and using safe and approved removal methods.

(2) Employees must complete training in an asbestos removal course such as the Remove Non-friable Asbestos. This course will provide participants with the the skills and knowledge needed to properly remove non-friable asbestos. It will also teach participants the history of the deadly material, as well as control measures, risk prevention, and legal issues related to Asbestos.

“ We at AlertForce are so pleased that we can provide our excellent an unparalleled Class-B training to the asbestos-industry professionals in the Victoria area. Our training courses are of crucial importance for any industry leaders or professionals who want to have quality training in the asbestos removal process! “ says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

Regardless of if a company’s employees had previously completed asbestos-training in the past; AlertForce’s new courses target the most up-to-date, and current asbestos-removal laws and legislation. Successfully completing these courses will render participants eligible to receive the Class B Asbestos License in Victoria.A licence holder is permitted to remove up to 10 m2 of non-friable asbestos or ACM.

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Contact: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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Alertforce Becomes Diamond Sponsor For SIA

POTTS POINT, NSW- Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training company, AlertForce (AF) has recently been awarded the honor of being a Diamond Sponsor for the Safety Institute of Australia Ltd (SIA).

SIA is an OHS organisation that has represented OHS professionals for over 50 years and with over 4’500 members. Members of this organisations are able to easily access timely advice relating to a variety of OHS issues relating to policy,regulations, and any current developments regarding the OHS industry.

Members of the SIA often join if they are currently employed or desire to be working in the OHS field.  Other times members join in order to have professional and qualified advice on OHS issues. Regardless of the issue, SIA aims fulfill its mission :

  • To affirm the SIA as the peak professional body for health and safety
  • professionals by:
  • Driving the development of the health and safety profession;
  • Setting and maintaining standards of professional practice

 AlertForce with its extensive catalogue of respected online safety training programs;has given their support to another organisation that continues to provide quality safety advice.  AF was granted Diamond Level status; the highest tier in SIA sponsorship grade levels. Diamond Sponsors contribute $10,000+ dollars to the OHS body in order to help SIA embark on the their vision of  providing “Professional Excellence– facilitating and communicating”.

Brendan Torazzi, the founder of AlertForce says, “I am very happy to have been able to contribute to such a vital organisation as the SIA — another organisation that is as dedicated  as us to providing helpful, qualified, and professional advice for all OHS issues.

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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Alertforce Wins Gold With LexisNexis- WHS-Modules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

POTTS POINT, NSW–   Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce (AF) has successfully attainedwinning gold in the “Best in OHS” category for a Work Health and Safety (WHS) modules program they designed in conjunction with leading content provider LexisNexis.

The partnership successfully combined AlertForce’s OHS training expertise with LexisNexis respected and renowned legal content. This team produced the successful LexisNexis Online Training- WHS modules, which have since been awarded the Gold recognition for the program’s outstanding and quality design.

The modules designed by AlertForce sought to provide participants with the ability to identify and apply crucial aspects of the Model Work Health and Safety act. Their success in these aspects resulted in AlertForce earning a distinction from LexisNexis, which acknowledges that AlertForce’s course design is unparalleled in both quality and accessibility.

Together both organizations specially designed three interactive online training modules to allow participants the ability to engage in the modules at their own convenience. The training modules were written by the employment specialist law firm Harmers Workplace Lawyers.

The following modules were offered:

  • Course 1 – Health and safety duties
  • Course 2 – Health and safety representation in the workplace
  • Course 3 – Health and safety consultation in the workplace

Each course required less than an hour to complete depending on the individual user and time spent exploring additional resources.

Completion of the LexisNexis Online WHS training modules provided participants with the opportunity to earn CPD/CLE points– declaring them as competent and compliant with the methods needed to sharpen an organisation’s competitive edge. Each course was available for purchase individually allowing participants to engage in the modules according to their own schedule.

Brendan Torazzi, the founder of AlertForce says, “I am extremely proud to hear that our LexisNexis –WHS modules have been acknowledged as being one of the best of its kind! Our courses allow people to learn at their own pace in a convenient and cost effective way. We will continue to provide the “Gold standard” of OHS training courses!”

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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AlertForce Raises Almost $5000.00 in Charity Auction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AlertForce Raises Almost $5000.00 in Charity Auction

POTTS POINT, NSW- Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training
company, AlertForce (AF) helped raising money for a charitable organisation by auctioning off certified OHS training courses.

Six AlertForce  training courses  were offered  and ALL subsequent proceeds were donated to The Very Special Kids Foundation.  Successful participants of the auction will have the opportunity to become; certified, safety-conscious individuals while supporting a good cause.  While individuals may typically participate in OHS courses for their safety or the safety of the employee; participants in this auction had the opportunity to help people outside the industry and beyond.

The organisation successfully raises nearly five thousand dollars when they offered the following courses in the auction:

  • AlertForce offer the Cert IV in WHS (Online)
  • AlertForce offer the Cert IV in WHS (Face-to-Face) 

Successful completion of these courses will enable participants to enroll in the  BSB41412 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. The online method of taking the courses will allow individuals to engage the courses according to their own comfortable pace and convenience.  Participants can enroll in this courses for approximately $1400, while the ‘in-person’ option will be available for approximately $1700. The combination of  all six-courses represent a value in-excess of $10,000.

Engaging in these courses will benefit participants in the following ways :

  • Making a positive change to your life now with instant access 
  • Creating the best job opportunities for you – with the course that is the future of OHS employment 
  • Boosting your CV with the bonus online training to the value of $200 
  • Choosing what’s best for you: accelerated Face-to-Face training or online (distance) learning 
  • When do you want to start your new job? Pace your training to suit your career goals (Face -to-Face courses must be completed within a 12-month period) 
  •  Recognising and subsequently– enhancing your exisiting knowledge and skills

Each course should take under an hour depending on the individual user and time spent exploring
additional resources. Participants have 5 days to complete the in-person courses and daily lunch meals will be provided.

Brendan Torazzi, the founder of AlertForce says, “I am ecstatic that were able to raise so much through our participation in this charity auction! I feel like it really shows our company’s commitment to helping others — not only in a professional capacity but  worldwide as well! ”

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive
short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental
hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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Alertforce Joins Forces With LexisNexis For WHS-Modules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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POTTS POINT, NSW- Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training company, AlertForce (AF) has partnered with leading content provider LexisNexis to provide LexisNexis Online Training- Work Health and Safety (WHS ) modules.

The partnership will combine AlertForce’s Occupational Health and Safety training expertise with LexisNexis renowned legal content, to provide participants with the ability to identify and apply crucial aspects of the Model Work Health and Safety Act.Together both organizations have specially designed three interactive online training modules to allow participants the ability to engage in the modules at their own convenience. Each training module was written in conjunction with employment specialist law firm Harmers Workplace Lawyers.  

The following modules will be offered:

  • Course 1 – Health and safety duties

  • Course 2 – Health and safety representation in the workplace

  • Course 3 – Health and safety consultation in the workplace

Each course should take under an hour depending on the individual user and time spent exploring additional resources.

Completion of the LexisNexis Online WHS training modules will provide participants with the opportunity to earn CPD/CLE points ensuring that individuals are competent and compliant with the tools needed to sharpen your organisation’s competitive edge. Each course can be purchased individually allowing participants to engage in the modules according to their own schedule. In addition to offering this convenient option, organisations are also able to purchase a 12-month subscription in order to continuously train employees.

Brendan Torazzi, the founder of AlertForce says, “ Our partnership LexisNexis allows you to learn at  your own pace in a convenient and cost effective way and earn CPD/CLE points without the travel times or costs associated with external training! ”

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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Alertforce Launches 1-Day HSR Bridging Course

For Immediate Release

POTTS POINT, NSW– Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training company, AlertForce (AF) now offers one-day Bridging Health and Safety Representative training course for their newly launched 5-day Comcare (HSR) training course.

AF’s new bridging course for HSRs is intended to assist HSRs and deputy HSRs understand the principles of legislative framework under the Work Health and Safety Act. The course will also educate the participants on newly introduced amendments to WHS legislation, as well as to introduce applicants to new terminology and definitions, duties of HSR, and enforcement measures.

In order to receive admission, applicants must provide evidence that they have completed the Comcare 5-day HSR training. AlertForce’s HSR Bridging course will be face-to-face and will provide participants with detailed notes, practical working experience, and even a lunch. Participants who successful complete the HSR 1-day Bridging Course will be awarded a Certificate of Attendance.

In order to secure admission into the training course, participants will have to register for the course before December 31, 2012. The training will be offered on site in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney and will cost $347.00 and bulk discounts are available for larger groups.

The following criteria will be discussed in the bridging course:

  • HSR/HSC Roles in the workplace including Consultation, Representation and Participation

  • The role of HSRs in resolving issues and minimising risk in the workplace

  • Workplace Inspections, Notifiable Incidents and Incident Investigation

  • Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs) and ceasing unsafe work

The HSR course will teach individuals how to be a central part of the partnership between employer and employee. A HSR’s duty includes tasks such as inspecting the workplace for safety lapses, accompanying an investigator during an inquiry, investigate OHS complaints, and initiate safety protocols. “Since we now have the 1-day Bridging HSR training course complementing the Comcare 5-day HSR course, we can effectively ensure that business professionals will have the experience needed to involve themselves in the dialogue and decisions affecting their safety” says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

AlertForce’s approval for the HSR bridging course and the 5-day HSR course indicates that the company has fulfilled Comcare requirements needed to include these courses in their wide catalogue of award-winning training programs.

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AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

 More information on HSR can be found at the  ComCare Website

 

AlertForce Approved For HSR Training Course

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

July 27, 2012

POTTS POINT, NSW– Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training company, AlertForce (AF), was approved by Comcare for the 5-day Health and Safety Representative (HSR) training course.

In order to be approved and subsequently offer the HSR course, the applicant must represent a training organisation, company or sole trader.  A Comcare assessor analyzed the quality of AlertForce’s face to face training program and subsequently approved them for the HSR course until 22 July, 2017. Throughout this time period AlertForce will be frequently be assessed based on the approval criteria, which will further ensure that their OHS training program remains one of high quality. AlertForce completed application was processed and approved according to the criteria set by the following:

  • How to become an approved provider of Health & Safety Representative (HSR) training for the Commonwealth jurisdiction, 1 January 2012 (Guidance 1); and
  • HSR Training Course Requirements, 1 January 2012 (Guidance 2)

According to the application process, each applicant’s course content must be relative to the functions and powers of an HSR. Furthermore, the applicant must be found offering high quality content and high quality training. In addition, each applicant’s course must be within the applicant’s capability and capacity and must be administered by an individual with relevant experience and knowledge. AlertForce’s approval indicates that the company has fulfilled the aforementioned requirements and will soon include the HSR course in their catalogue of various other award-winning training courses.

“AlertForce’s course will certify that prospective HSR’s will have ability to ensure that fellow employees are involved in the dialogue and decisions affecting their occupational health and safety” says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.The HSR course will teach individuals how to be a central part of the partnership between employer and employee. A HSR’s duty includes tasks such as inspecting the workplace for safety lapses, accompanying an investigator during an inquiry, investigate OHS complaints, and initiate safety protocols.

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces. Contact: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

 

More information on HSR can be found at the  ComCare Website

 

 

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AlertForce Awarded At LearnX eLearning Technology Conference

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

June 16, 2012

 

POTTS POINT, NSW– Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training company, AlertForce (AF), were successful in various areas of the Learning &Technology Impact Awards.

The annual conference is organised by LearnX, a non-profit organisation that supports the progress of learning and supporting technologies. The conference includes various professionals throughout the corporate, education, and private sectors. More specifically, the conference targets learning professionals who operate and manage e-training solutions and services.

The deadline to enter into this conference was June 1, 2012. At this point each participant was evaluated in a variety of key areas such as: Best Talent, Best Learning Program, Best New Initiative, and Best eLearning design. Within these categories, AlertForce was honoured in the Occupational Health and Safety (second place winner) in partnership with client Port Stephens Council, Environmental (second place winner) in partnership with Carbon Training International, and Compliance (finalist) with client Daly International.

The purpose of the awards is to honour the progress and development of learning technologies. In addition to this, the awards are meant to showcase the effectiveness and impact that learning has on the success of an organisation. AlertForce has provided quality online training and education that has continually promoted the success and growth of businesses.

“It is a great honour to have been successful in a variety of areas in the LearnX awards. I think the diversity of our commendations signifies how prolific and diverse our OHS & E training and eLearning services are!” says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

Alertforce.com.au offers over 70 online training programs that can typically be completed at the convenience of the participant.

 

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-
based, interactive short online OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

 

Contact: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

 

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ALERTFORCE LAUNCHING NEW ASBESTOS REMOVAL TRAINING PROGRAM

NEWS RELEASE

May 29th, 2012

 

POTTS POINT, NSW– Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce (AF), launched an online training program that aims to arm participants with the knowledge and capability, to effectively and safely attend to situations involving asbestos removal. New regulations under the Work Health and Safety Act mean that many states will require Asbestos Industry existing participants to have nationally recognised training by 31st December, 2013. New entrants to the industry should be trained now.

For over six years AlertForce has offered quality competency-based, online asbestos awareness training to various professionals including industry leaders and employees. AF’s original Asbestos Awareness training course has now been updated so that it is compliant with the most recent regulations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

In addition to this update, AF has replaced their Asbestos Removal training course with a new, nationally recognised course for Asbestos Removal which will be available on June 1, 2012.

AlertForce’s new Asbestos Removal course, CPCCDE3014A: Remove Non-Friable Asbestos will enable participants to effectively and safely remove non-friable asbestos containing material (ACM). This course will specifically target areas such as; preparation, containment and removal of non-friable ACM, as well as decontamination and disposal needs. In addition to the soon-to-be launched Asbestos Removal training course, there will also be two other units included that target other aspects of asbestos removal.  The following additional units are offered:

The Supervise Asbestos Removal (CPCCBC4051A) course will train participants to be competent in supervising the removal process of asbestos or ACM. This course will explore areas such as the planning and supervising of the removal of asbestos or asbestos containing material, preparing the worksite, and using safe and approved removal methods. Conduct Asbestos Assessment associated with Removal (CPCCBC5014A) will ensure that participants are competent and able to perform assessments and use a diverse array of measuring devices for the monitoring of airborne asbestos fibres in the workplace. Participants will also learn how to properly identify hazards and risks, and how to determine that an area is free of asbestos contamination and safe for reoccupation.

“Our newly added Asbestos Removal courses are detailed and extensive while remaining as clear and concise as any other course that we offer at Alertforce. These nationally recognized units are of the utmost importance for any industry leaders or professionals who want to have quality training in the asbestos removal process! says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

Upon successful completion of these units, participants will receive a Statement of Attainment signifying their competence in the respective areas. These Statements are then used as evidence of competency for State OHS Regulators when required. In addition to knowing how to safely remove a harmful and deadly substance, participants will also gain a useful employability skill.

 

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-

based, interactive short online courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in

Australian workplace.

 

Contact: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

 

 

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ALERTFORCE LAUNCHES CERTIFIED CARBON MANAGEMENT TRAINING

 

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

May 24, 2012

POTTS POINT, NSW– Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce (AF), launched an online training program that teach participants the various processes that are believed to cause climate change and greenhouse gases; and subsequently, why carbon management is an important path for businesses to explore.

 AF is currently offering four Carbon Management (CTICM) courses which would effectively enable participants to gain a clear and concise understanding of the several key aspects of Carbon Management. Every participant is granted a 90-day period to complete a course. Upon competition of each individual course, the participant will receive a Statement of Attainment for each respective subject. Every credit gained would then be put forth towards the attainment of a 91500NSW Certificate III in Carbon Management

 Each online training course will include 90 minutes of online study, study notes, and an online exam. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to engage in a gathering of evidence component. Since the courses are online they are offered in a manner that is conducive to each participant’s business needs. This means that each course can be engaged at the student’s own speed and convenience within the 90-day period.

 AF’s Carbon Management Training is comprised of four courses The first course  CTICM301A- Communicate Climate Change impacts and Recognition of Sources of Greenhouse Gases introduces the issue to participants and helps them gain an understanding of the social impact that climate change can have on business and economics. Furthermore, this course will explore the greenhouse effect, its sources, and other aspects pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions. Each ensuing course is a pre-requisite to the next one in numerical order. The following courses will expand further on topics explored in the CTICM301A course:

  • CTICM302A Measure carbon emissions in three scopes
  • CTICM303A Evaluate carbon reduction and renewable energy options
  • CTICM304A Assist implementation and monitoring of a Carbon Management Response Plan.

“AlertForce’s nationally recognized,Carbon Management training courses can teach businesses how to be leaders in the low-carbon economy. By low-carbon economy, I am referring to an economy that has met its energy resource needs through low carbon inputs, outputs, and clean energy production! “ says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

Participating in this efficient training regimen can enable participants to leverage all their low carbon opportunities whilst promoting their green reputation. These course can enable business leaders to improve their green reputation and low carbon opportunities without costly errors or penalties.

Contact Information: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-

based, interactive short online courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in

Australian workplace.

AlertForce Launches New OHS Harmonisation Training

Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce, has recently launched online training that teaches participants about the new additions brought on by the OHS Harmonisation Work Health and Safety Act (WHS).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OHS Harmonisation CoursePRLog (Press Release)Oct 26, 2011

This OHS harmonisation act is poised for introduction on January 1, 2012, and will introduce many changes to the way businesses are managed. This online training course will be aimed at company officers, senior managers, and related positions. A company officer is anyone who makes business decisions on a major or minor level, or someone who has the capacity to significantly affect the company’s finances. This grey definition means that even if an employee would not typically consider themselves a “company officer”, the regulator or prosecutor might not necessarily agree.

With the advent of the new OHS laws, company officers can potentially face serious civil and criminal penalties in the event that they breach OHS requirements. Penalties under the WHS Act can potentially cost the business $3 million for ‘Reckless Conduct’ and $600,000 coupled with five years of incarceration for individuals considered to be a Person Conducting Business or Undertaking (PCBU).

AlertForce’s OHS Harmonisation training (http://alertforce.com.au/ohs-training-courses/ohs-harmon …) is nationally accredited (BSBOHS509A Ensure a safe workplace and BSBOHS301B Apply knowledge of OHS in the workplace) and is designed to enhance business protection and give you the skills and knowledge required to keep a business from breaching the WHS act. Awareness only courses are also available. “AlertForce is dedicated to staying up to date with all the requirements once the legislation passes. We will provide all the critical information required in order to ensure the well-being of our clients!” said Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

The Officer OHS Harmonisation course covers:

– Legislative Framework under the new Work Health and Safety Act
– Duties of Care
– Compliance and Due Diligence Requirements
– Evidence Certification

Successful participants in the accredited course will be considered legally competent under the government audited guidelines. In the event that a participant faces prosecution it will be up to the regulator or prosecutor to prove guilt by evaluating the steps taken and the effectiveness of the participants’ OHS management system and if reasonable steps were taken by the PCBU to ensure worker safety. By taking this accredited course, participants will have the legitimacy and due diligence knowledge to avoid possible litigation.

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# # #

AlertForce specialises in delivering fast, competency-based OHS training through interactive short online courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in Australian workplaces.

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AlertForce wins City of Sydney Eco-Drive Tender

Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce, has succeeded in its efforts to obtain tender for the City of Sydney’s Eco-Drive.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release)Sep 07, 2011 – Recently, the city council approved a tender for the delivering of sustainable bio-fuels in an effort to make a “Sustainable Sydney” by the year 2030. The Eco-Drive training program would enable staff members of the Council to obtain the skills and conduct to effectively lower emission levels to the lowest achievable levels.

The City’s vehicle fleet currently consists of 450 vehicles, more than 1000 drivers and plant items that use over 1,000,000 litres of fuel annually, releasing approximately 3,000 tonnes annually of carbon dioxide.

Drivers will gain awareness and understanding of the effects of climate change and the effect that vehicle emissions have on it. AlertForce succeeded over the eight (two of those submissions were considered ‘non-conforming’ and were thus immediately denied) tender submissions.

Tender submissions were reviewed based on elements such as; tender price, environmental management systems, quality assurance, demonstrated experience, occupational health and safety and the ability to meet the required objectives and suitability for the city.

“We are pleased with this opportunity to carefully, and effectively, train approximately 1000 staff (500 field workers and 500 office staff) and has been specially designed to reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency for the City of Sydney,” says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

The City has pledged to ensure that AlertForce adheres to the required performance principles by evaluating their performance against various performance indicators.

# # #

AlertForce specialises in delivering fast, competency-based OHS training through interactive short online courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in Australian workplaces.
View Original Press Release Here: http://www.prlog.org/11650011-alertforce-wins-city-of-sydney-eco-drive-tender.html

AlertForce Launches NSW Food Safety Supervisor Training

Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce, has recently launched online supervisor training that will enable participants to adhere to the new Food Authority laws that have recently been passed.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) – Sep 07, 2011 – In light of the new NSW Food Authority laws, Food Safety Supervisor training is now mandatory for any business that handles or serves food. The deadline to receive this training is October 1st. Any food – serving business that fails to meet the deadline is subject to a $660 fine.

Since the training is online (http://alertforce.com.au/food-supervisor-safety/), participants will be able to engage in the program at their own speed and convenience. The courses will be essential for anyone working in a business that delivers food in most states of Australia. Successful Participants will also receive a Food Safety Supervisor certificate from Access Group Training (NTIS 90867).

AlertForce’s complete FSS training is composed of two elements. The first component is the Accredited Food Supervisors Certificate (Implement food safety procedures), while the second component is the Accredited Food Handlers Certificate (Follow Workplace Hygiene Procedures). These courses are delivered in commercial partnership by Access Group Training (NTIS 90867) who are on the NSW Food Authority approved list and issue government certificates.

“AlertForce’s food safety courses help you meet your food handling requirements with maximum ease at minimum cost. Now with these new laws it is imperative for food-serving businesses to receive our quality Food Safety training to avoid subsequent fines!” says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.

Upon completion of the FSS training, participants will be receive their certificate in the mail, which they can then post to inform others that they are skilled in food handling and can manage other food handlers in commercial settings.

# # #

AlertForce specialises in delivering fast, competency-based OHS training through interactive short online courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in Australian workplaces.
View Original PR here: http://www.prlog.org/11649935-alertforce-launches-nsw-food-safety-supervisor-training.html

OHS Training – Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Training Now Available Online

dangerous goods imdg trainingEvery shore-side worker dealing with dangerous goods transportation will be excited to learn that they can now take the proper (and required) Dangerous Goods (IMDG) training courses online with AlertForce.com.au.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) – Jul 05, 2011 – Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training company, AlertForce, is currently the only company that offers online Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) approved Dangerous Goods training courses for Amendment 35-10 of the IMDG code (see: http://www.amsa.gov.au/Shipping_Safety/cargoes_and_dange …).

Since Amendment 34 of the IMDG Code, these courses became mandatory for any shore-side employee who works with dangerous goods transported by the sea.

“Failing to complete this training can result in delays, fines, or rejected consignments. By taking part in these regulation-approved online training classes, companies can ensure that their reputation is secure and intact.” said company founder, Brendan Torazzi.

Since the training courses are online, AlertForce has created a cost effective way to get the proper occupational health- and-safety training courses for a variety shore-side professions such as:

– Container Packers and Consolidators
– Port Staff
– Shippers and Forwarders
– Shipping Line Operations and Booking Staff
– Stevedores
– Cargo Surveyors

The courses in the IMDG training focus on aspects such as; descriptions of various dangerous goods classes, labeling, marking, stowing, and packing. Everyone enrolled in training will be taught the functions that pertain to their daily professions.

The Dangerous Goods safety training class is $225.00. Upon signing up for the class you will receive your login details and tax invoice via email. Any company that is involved in exporting shipping Dangerous Goods overseas (including Tasmania) and needs to produce MO41’s is affected by the AMSA requirements and requires training.

# # #

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in Australian workplaces.

Source: http://www.prlog.org/11570593-ohs-training-dangerous-goods-imdg-training-now-available-online.html

New OHS Training Asbestos Awareness & Owner Builder Courses Launched

asbestos awareness removal courseAlertForce, a registered training organisation (NTIS 91826) of NSW has officially announced the launch of two new OHS training courses to their online portfolio which include an asbestos awareness removal course and an owner builder course.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) – Jun 28, 2011 – The Asbestos Awareness & Owner Builder NSW course are both online courses that are designed to provide short interactive training to mitigate Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) risks in the workplace in order to help companies and individuals meet the new OHS training mandatory compliance guidelines. They are open to individuals, companies, and sales channel partners who wish to keep updated in these fields.

AlertForce is one of the few organisations in NSW that offers OHS training online in order to help companies meet OHS training compliance guidelines in a more convenient and organized manner. Allowing individuals and corporations to take this training in their spare time without the necessity or expense of traveling or the hassles of trying to fit training sessions around business and work commitments.

The new Asbestos training is actually offered in two training sessions. A short asbestos awareness training that provides the skills necessary to trade persons, employees and those controlling work premises to identify asbestos or possible asbestos containing materials and ensure that proper steps are taken to reduce the risks posed by this material. The Asbestos B removal training will allow competent persons to remove bonded asbestos. Successful completion of this course will allow competent people to receive their Queensland class B asbestos removal license. It will also allow residence of other states to use this license as evidence to obtain relevant worksafe or workcover licenses.

The new Owner Builder NSW course will give those who are planning to build their own homes or do major renovations to their older homes the skills, knowledge, and information needed to meet the OHS owner builder regulations and guidelines competently and safely. This training is require by all persons who plan on building their own home or doing renovations valued at more than $12,000.

For more information about these OHS courses visit AlertForce at: http://alertforce.com.au

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AlertForce specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online OHS training courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in Australian workplaces.

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Press Release can be found here: http://www.prlog.org/11561985-new-ohs-training-courses-launched-online-for-australia-asbestos-awareness-removal-owner-builder.html

The Latest Amendment 35-10 of The IMDG Code Affects Businesses

New rules and regulations need to be followed under the new IMDG code amendment 35-10 and this change may actually be a good thing for your business.
ohs-training

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) – Jun 08, 2011 – The IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) code is a lengthy and complicated set of rules designed to prevent marine pollution and to protect our environment and our seas by seeing that proper precautions and emergency procedures are in place.

Because of all the rules and regulations contained in this code, it is often difficult for businesses and those in their employ to fully understand all safety procedures involved. This can cause your business to lose time, money, and have a difficult time ensuring that all regulations of the code are enforced to guarantee the proper shipping of dangerous or hazardous goods.

The new IMDG amendment 35-10 is actually geared to helping ensure that all businesses and their employees understand and can apply the code. What this amendment does is make it a requirement for all people working with the shipping of dangerous material by water to have training in the code itself to ensure that those employees understand the code and can apply it when working with dangerous material.

In Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority oversees that such training does take place and that all people who work with shippingdangerous goods by sea have taken the course and know and understand the regulations associated with their specific jobs.

Who Needs To Take This Dangerous Goods Course?

Everyone who is involved in the shipping of dangerous goods by vessel needs to take this course. This includes shippers, container packers, booking staff, port staff, and cargo inspectors as well as anyone else who works in trades where the IMDG code applies.

Where Do I Have To Go To Take This IMDG Course And How Do I Prove I Have Completed It?

The good news is that the IMDG amendment allows this course to be offered as an E course, which means that you can take it in the comfort of your home or from your work facility.

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) offers the course and it is divided into segments.
At the end of each segment, a test will be given to ensure that you are competent before moving on to the next segment. At the end, those who have successfully completed the course will be able to print off a certificate showing they have completed the required training.

The nice thing about this E-Training is that it is less costly than classroom training would be, making it more affordable for business owners to ensure that all their employees have the required training necessary. It also allows each individual to complete training at their own pace, making it possible for them to take the training without taking time off from their jobs.

Overall, this change in the IMDG requirements will actually, help businesses involved with the shipping of dangerous materials ensure that they do so in a safe manner that is in compliance with the code. This may in the long run help to prevent accidents that could end up costing your business huge fines and a ruined reputation.

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AlertForce specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online OHS training courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in Australian workplaces.

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http://www.prlog.org/11530750-the-latest-amendment-35-10-of-the-imdg-code-affects-businesses.html

AlertForce is Now a Registered Training Organisation in OHS Training

Potts Point, New South Wales  April 21, 2011 –

Especially in our ever more litigious age, occupational health and safety issues are more important than ever. There are always dangers in the workplace, in some industries more so than in others – but regardless of the type of business, proper safety training is always a must.

Naturally, businesses seek out workplace health and safety training from firms which have a long track record of success and comply with all applicable regulations – and Alertforce, one of the most experienced OHS firms in Australia has just announced that it has received certification as a Registered Training Organization.

Alertforce has a sterling reputation as one of the nation’s leading OHS training firms and given its twenty year history in the business and the recent RTO certification, it is uniquely well positioned to provide Australian businesses with the occupational health and safety training their employees need to perform their tasks efficiently and even more importantly, safely and in compliance with national and local regulations.

Alertforce has in-depth expertise in occupational safety training in the areas of electrical safety, confined spaces, fire safety, food safety, forklift and warehouse safety as well as office safety, just to name a few of Alertforce’s many OHS training specialties. The firm is designed to be able to offer the necessary training in workplace safety issues to businesses across all economic sectors and is a well known quantity in occupational safety. With their announcement of RTO certification, Alertforce has managed to raise their profile even higher; and it is clear that this is a firm which has as bright of a future ahead of it as it does a successful past.

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AlertForce specialise in compliance training for Workplace Health and Safety. AlertForce are now an Registered Training Organisation (NTIS 91826).

For more information on Alert Force, please visit http://alertforce.com.au

Media Contact:

AlertForce
G05/1a Tusculum Street
Potts Point NSW 2011
Phone: 1300 627 246
Fax: 02 9012 0684
http://alertforce.com.au/contact/

 

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