Coates, one of Australia’s leading equipment hire and solutions providers, has partnered with Local Government NSW (LGNSW) to provide asbestos identification training to local government officers across the state.
Coates Training is a registered training organisation (RTO) and developed the one-day course in collaboration with LGNSW to train local government officers who, during the course of their work, may come into contact with asbestos related products. This course is funded under the NSW JobTrainer program, fully funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, with enrolments closing on 31 December 2022.
“Asbestos exposure remains an issue for all Australians, and the safety of our residents and our first-line local government officers is paramount,” said Cr Darriea Turley, LGNSW President. “Importantly, this course can help council workers to properly and safely identify asbestos, the level of risk it poses to residents and other workers if it is identified on a site, and how to report it to the right people to ensure it is disposed of correctly.”
The course – restricted to local government officers – will help council workers across the state properly differentiate between the different kinds of asbestos, how to safely approach asbestos, and take steps to manage that asbestos safely. Coates Training conducts the courses in-person and has already delivered training in Lismore, Ballina, Cooma, Albury, Coffs Harbour, Orange and Dubbo, among others.
“Many thanks to Coates for the extensive training of our workers in the associated hazards and safe handling techniques for asbestos-related work,” said Roland Mann, WHS Specialist, Campbelltown City Council. “We found the trainers to be thoroughly experienced and knowledgeable and would recommend this training for any organisation that may come across asbestos in their work.”
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre which was heavily used in Australian houses for insulation and fire-retardation until the mid-1980s. In 2003 asbestos-use was banned in Australia but it’s estimated around one-third of homes in Australia still contain asbestos products. Exposure to asbestos has been heightened this year with the state experiencing its wettest year on record; as flood waters rise, asbestos that may have been poorly disposed of or buried, can rise to the surface.
“This one-day training course aims to equip local government officers across the state with the basics so that they can quickly determine the safest course of action when they’re called out to an inspection, or identify asbestos in waste materials and landfill,” said Paul McDonough, RTO Manager, Coates.
There are three main types of asbestos: blue asbestos, brown asbestos and white asbestos. The one-day course helps trainees properly identify upon safe inspection the category of asbestos, as well as how each type needs to be handled and disposed of, the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) required and other related insights required to keep NSW residents and government officials safe from exposure.
While completion of the course will not infer qualifications that can lead to licensed asbestos removal work, it will provide those deemed competent with the following units of competency:
- CPPWMT3011 Conduct waste assessments
- RIIRIS201E Conduct local risk control
- RIIWHS201E Work safely and follow WHS policies and procedures
SafeWork NSW and the NSW Asbestos Coordination Committee Working Group reviewed the course as being suitable for persons who may be required to identify the different types of asbestos, understand the risks associated with each, and ensure asbestos is handled in accordance with WHS policies and procedures.