Coates, LGNSW to provide asbestos identification training
Australian equipment hire and solutions provider Coates has partnered with Local Government NSW 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 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 with enrolments closing on 31 December 2022.
Councillor Darriea Turley, Local Government NSW President, said that the course can help council workers to properly and safely identify asbestos, the level of risk it possesses 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. “Asbestos exposure remains an issue for all Australians, and the safety of our residents and our first-line local government officers is paramount,” Turley said.
The course — restricted to local government officers — will help council workers properly differentiate between the different kinds of asbestos, learn how to safely approach asbestos and learn the steps required 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. 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,” said Roland Mann, WHS Specialist for the Campbelltown City Council.
Paul McDonough, RTO Manager for Coates, said that the training course aims to equip local government officers with the basics so that they can quickly determine the safest course of action when they’re called out to an inspection or to identify asbestos in waste materials and landfill.
While completion of the course will not infer qualifications that can lead to licensed asbestos removal work, it will provide those deemed competent with three units of competency: Conduct waste assessments (CPPWMT3011), Conduct local risk control (RIIRIS201E) and Work safely and follow WHS policies and procedures (RIIWHS201E).
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.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre which was used in Australian houses for insulation and fire retardation until the mid-1980s. In 2003, asbestos use was banned in Australia but it is estimated that approximately one-third of homes in Australia still contain asbestos products. Exposure to asbestos has been heightened this year, with NSW 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.
There are three main types of asbestos: blue asbestos, brown asbestos and white asbestos. The training course helps trainees 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.
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