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Asbestos is a hazardous material that was commonly used in construction and other industries until the late 1970s.

It was later discovered that exposure to asbestos can cause serious health issues, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

As a result, authorities have implemented strict regulations for removing asbestos.

But do you have to be qualified to remove asbestos?

Let’s explore the certification and qualification requirements for asbestos removal.

Health Risks of Asbestos Exposure

Inhaling asbestos fibres may cause serious health problems, such as lung cancer, asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis) and mesothelioma.

Asbestos fibres are very small and can be easily inhaled. They can then become trapped in the lung and cause scarring and inflammation over time.

It’s important to understand the health risks of asbestos exposure.

Even a small exposure can cause serious damage.

To avoid any health risks, it is vital to use caution and seek professional assistance when handling asbestos-containing material.

Asbestos Types and Its Risks

Asbestos is made up of six types of naturally occurring mineral fibres.

They are chrysotile (asbestos), amosite (asbestos), crocidolite (crocidolite), tremolite(actinolite), and anthophyllite.

The six types of asbestos vary in colour, texture and fibre quality, but they all pose serious health hazards when disturbed.

Asbestos in Everyday Life

The minerals in these rocks are highly prized because of:

  1. Strength.
  2. Heat resistance.
  3. Insulating capabilities.

You can find them in many products and materials, from floor tiles and shingles to automobile brakes and even certain textiles.

Asbestos removal is not only important, but also dangerous and requires professional assistance.

Since December 2003, asbestos has been banned in Australia.

National legislation

Australian Border Force

Australia is one of the few countries in the Asia/Pacific region to have a complete ban on all six kinds of asbestos.

Local standards in many countries allow for low levels of certain types of asbestos, despite their known danger to human health.

Even though goods manufactured outside Australia may be labelled “asbestos-free”, they still contain small amounts of asbestos.

Australia does not allow the import of these goods except under very limited circumstances.

Work Health and Safety laws and environmental laws are in place across all Australian states and territories to prohibit unauthorised asbestos supply, transportation, use, or handling.

The Australian government discourages DIY asbestos removal.

In ACT and NSW, the law restricts all asbestos removal work to licensed asbestos removalists.

What Is Necessary for Asbestos Removal Professionals?

Asbestos exposure can lead to asbestos-related illnesses. You must have a license to remove asbestos.

You must also have specific training and work experience to be licensed by NSW for the asbestos removal business.

If you wish to be an asbestos remover, you must have a Class A or Class B asbestos removal license.

You must hold a Class A (fire doors and safes only) asbestos removal licence if you wish to remove fire door and safes.

A Class B asbestos removal license is required to remove more than 10 m2 of non-friable asbestos.

According to Safe Work Australia, you must provide asbestos awareness training for all of your employees who are:

  • Removing asbestos from less than 10 m2 and/or
  • Those who work in the construction industry, such as electricians, plumbers or renovators of bathrooms and kitchens, are at risk for asbestos exposure.

The training should be tailored to the job and include:

  • Asbestos identification.
  • Asbestos: safe handling.
  • Suitable control measures.

Asbestos Removal License

Class A license

You’ll need:

  • A general construction induction (or NSW Statement of Training Number).
  • Copies of the qualifications CPCCDE3015A and CPCCBC4051A for asbestos removal (remove friable asbestos).
  • Evidence of at least three (3) jobs involving friable asbestos over a period of 3 years.

Class B license

You’ll need:

  • A general construction induction (or NSW Statement of Training Number).
  • Copies of the qualifications CPCCDE3014A and CPCCBC4051A, (remove nonfriable asbestos).
  • Evidence of at least three non-friable removal jobs (no older than five years) over a period of 12 months.

Experience Evidence

Class A license

  1. asbestos removal control plans.
  2. Notes from Toolbox Talks.
  3. Air-monitoring reports.
  4. Smoke tests.
  5. Clearance certificates.
  6. Safe work method statements.
  7. Photos of your work.
  8. A reference letter signed and dated by an employer or organisation on letterhead.

Class B License

  1. Invoices.
  2. Tipping receipts.
  3. Contracts of Work.
  4. safe work method statement.
  5. Photos.
  6. A reference letter signed and dated by an employer or organisation on letterhead.

Qualification Requirements

Asbestos removal requires certification, but there are other qualification requirements that must also be met first.

The qualification requirements can vary by country or state, but they generally include:

Age requirement: 18 years of age is the minimum required in Australia.

Physical condition: The removal of asbestos can be physically demanding. Therefore, individuals must be in good health to do the job safely.

Background check: Some Australian states may require that individuals pass a background test before they can obtain an asbestos certification.

Training: As previously mentioned, individuals are required to complete a course of Asbestos training and pass an examination to be certified.

Asbestos Certification Types

Asbestos Contractor/Supervisor: This certification is for individuals who oversee asbestos removal projects and ensure that all safety protocols are followed.

Asbestos Inspection: Asbestos inspections are responsible for identifying asbestos and assessing its presence in structures and buildings.

Asbestos Management Planner: This certification is for those who create and implement asbestos management programs for buildings and structures.

Asbestos Project Designer: Asbestos project designers create plans and specifications for asbestos removal projects.

Asbestos worker: Asbestos workers remove asbestos from structures and buildings.

Asbestos Removal Training

Anyone planning to work in asbestos removal must undergo the appropriate asbestos removal training.

It’s not a recommendation but a necessity.

AlertForce’s Asbestos removal training courses are designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to do the job safely, without putting their health at risk.

AlertForce ensures that its courses are aligned with the local regulations to ensure that all participants understand and can comply with safety protocols.

The courses combine both theoretical and practical demonstrations to give a thorough understanding of asbestos removal.

Training is divided into three types, depending on the level of risk and the type of asbestos work. Each is unique and tailored to the level of asbestos work.

Basic Awareness Training – This entry-level course focuses on recognising asbestos-containing materials and understanding the associated risks.

Non-Licensable Work Training: A detailed course designed to prepare trainees for low-risk asbestos work that does not require a license. These tasks could include drilling holes into asbestos-containing materials or removing asbestos-coated tiles.

Licensable work training: This is the highest level of training and prepares workers to perform high-risk tasks involving asbestos material that requires a license. The training includes sessions on the use of protective clothing, respirator protective equipment, waste packaging, and decontamination procedures.

Always remember that asbestos removal training should not be a one-time training.

It needs to be updated annually to stay up with the changing Australian standards and regulations.

Our training reduces asbestos-related risks and protects not only workers but the entire community.

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