Negotiating the requirements – legal and ethical – around removal of asbestos can be a tricky business. As an employer, it’s important that you get a handle on what your obligations are and know exactly what training you and/or your employees need to complete. The training options can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Awareness
  • Removal
  • Assessment
  • Supervision

Before we go on to look at the different courses available, there’s one question that comes up from time to time that’s worth addressing: “I’ve done some asbestos training – can’t I just pass on the information to my employees?”

Nope. You’re probably an expert at your particular job. So are we. And our job is teaching nationally recognised courses in all areas of work health and safety. Asbestos management and removal requires special expertise and knowledge. You wouldn’t expect to be able to teach an employee any other skilled job (forklift driving, pipelaying, crane operation etc) in one afternoon over a cup of tea, so why would you expect it of asbestos removal? Get it done right the first time with comprehensive, nationally recognised training.

Asbestos Awareness Training

Who should do it?

Legislation requires that employers train any personnel who are working around asbestos to complete asbestos awareness training. This is not a course that teaches asbestos removal (over the 10m2 permitted in some states); it is a course that provides the skills and knowledge to identify asbestos.

Why should you do it?

Aside from the fact that is required by law, having employees who can identify asbestos is a key part of your organisation’s safety framework. The more people who can identify and be aware of it, the less risk there is of it being unwittingly damaged or made dangerous in the course of operations. It’s not about being paranoid, it’s about being sensible. And remember, many employees are likely to be too young to remember when the horrors of asbestos-related illnesses became front page news. This is a way to teach them how to take the risks surrounding asbestos seriously.

This course can be done online or, for groups of 15 or more, we can arrange onsite training.

CPCCDE3014A Remove non-friable asbestos and CPCCDE3015A Remove friable asbestos

Who should do it?

Legislation requires that all workers involved in removing non-friable or friable asbestos (click here for a recap on asbestos types) must have nationally recognised training to do so. As an employer, you must make this training available to anyone you are charging with the responsibility of removing asbestos or an employee who needs to update their training. Remember, those who are trained in the removal of non-friable or bonded asbestos, cannot be involved in the removal of friable asbestos. The two types of asbestos removal require specific knowledge and expertise – they are not interchangeable.

A CPCCOHS1001A Work safely in the construction industry or “white card” is a pre-requisite for both courses.

Why should you do it?

Again, it’s the law. Aside from that, as an employer it is your ethical, community, and environmental obligation to ensure that dangerous or potentially dangerous materials are safely disposed of. The fines for not following protocol are substantial as is the associated risk to your organisation’s reputation. Having workers who are properly trained in the safe removal of asbestos ensures a safe and more productive workplace.

CPCCBC4051A Supervise asbestos removal

Who should do it?

The individual who is going to direct the removal of any asbestos must be a licensed Asbestos Supervisor. You can do this course if you have a Class A or Class B asbestos removal license (see above courses) and are looking to develop the scope of your skills in the asbestos management and removal industry. The Asbestos Supervisor makes sure that all associated stakeholders – from employees to regulators – are informed as to any asbestos removal undertakings and are supplied with the necessary training and equipment. In addition, a Supervisor must mitigate risk, implement health and safety procedures and comply with all legislation regarding asbestos removal.

Why should you do it?

Because, like any other significant operation, the removal of asbestos requires careful and comprehensive planning, experienced and responsible direction, and a point of contact for all staff and stakeholders.

As with the two previous courses, a CPCCOHS1001A Work safely in the construction industry or “white card” is a pre-requisite for this course. A Nationally Recognised Statement of Attainment for CPCCBC4051A Supervise Asbestos Removal is issued to successful participants.

CPCCBC5014A Conduct Asbestos Assessment Associated with Removal

Who should do it?

An Asbestos Assessor is required to inspect and measure the levels of airborne asbestos fibres in a workplace. This course teaches the specialised skills and knowledge along with use of a range of measuring devices.

Why should you do it?

An Assessor has an essential role to play in gathering data about the presence of asbestos, planning for asbestos removal, and monitoring, documenting and evaluating data. At the end of the day, only one person can tell you whether a site is safe for reoccupation after asbestos removal and that is your Asbestos Assessor.

A Nationally Recognised Statement of Attainment for CPCCBC5014A Conduct Asbestos Assessment Associated with Removal is issued to successful participants.

If you have any questions about what kind of course you or your employees should be doing, give us a buzz – we will be more than happy to talk you through the options.