The risk management approach to asbestos awareness

Asbestos training among other things, focuses on detailing the risk management approach to asbestos in the workplace. Risk management is a common concept in business practice and ensures that safe systems of work can be established from detailed risk management plans.

What you will learn from your asbestos training is how to identify asbestos in the workplace and adopt an accepted risk management approach. You will also learn about asbestos registers and asbestos management plans. How do you identify asbestos in your workplace?

Asbestos training courses provide employers with the knowledge required to keep their workplace safe. As employers are required by law to manage risks to all persons in and around the workplace, it makes good practice to adopt a risk management approach so that consistency in applying the law will avoid making mistakes in managing those risks. Asbestos awareness training is an important part of this.

The problem is that ACM can release asbestos fibres into the air whenever they are disturbed, and especially during the following activities:

  1. any direct action on asbestos containing materials (ACM), such as drilling, boring, cutting, filing, brushing, grinding, sanding, breaking, smashing or blowing with compressed air
  2. the inspection or removal of ACM from workplaces (including vehicles, plant and equipment);
  3. the maintenance or servicing of materials from vehicles, plant, equipment or workplaces;
  4. the renovation or demolition of buildings containing ACM.

Non-friable ACM that has been subjected to extensive weathering or deterioration also has a higher potential to release asbestos fibres into the air.

Asbestos training covers risk management procedures: a detailed approach to risk management starts with an on – site assessment and an asbestos register. All premises should have an assessment and a register, even if they are new, because second hand plant and equipment brought into a building may contain asbestos. It is also good practice to have a building assessed and recorded as being asbestos free. This simple statement that establishes a baseline condition. Then any second-hand plant and equipment brought into the building needs a check for asbestos and removed prior to installation if asbestos is found.

Persons with control of premises must ensure all ACM in their workplaces are identified, as far as practicable. More specifically, there is a need to:

  1. identify the locations of all ACM and determine whether any inaccessible areas are likely to contain ACM; and
  2. identify the types (e.g. asbestos cement sheet, asbestos lagging on pipes and flues, ACM gaskets in plant or machinery) and condition (i.e. damaged or intact) of ACM.

Asbestos training courses are a very valuable tool for keeping workplaces safe, and are available online.

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