Industry News, Tradie Health

NSW Government to provide free asbestos safety courses

NSW Government to provide an online asbestos safety course to the public to increase awareness of the safety risks of asbestos.

The NSW Government will provide an online ‘Asbestos Awareness and Safety’ course free to the public to increase awareness of the safety risks of asbestos.

The short self-directed online course, called a microskill, is aimed at anyone likely to encounter asbestos in their workplace.

SafeWork NSW, Building Commission NSW, and TAFE NSW have partnered to deliver the online course.

“Asbestos is still found in 1 in 3 homes in Australia, meaning that everyone should know how to properly identify and safely handle products containing asbestos,” SafeWork NSW’s Trent Curtin said.

“Making the ‘Asbestos Awareness and Safety’ microskill course free and readily available ensures everyone who comes across potentially hazardous asbestos are equipped with the knowledge to manage the situation.”

The NSW Government priority is to ensure the safety of workers and the community when managing asbestos.

It is hosted on the Construct NSW digital learning platform, part of a wider suite of courses built in collaboration with the Department of Customer Service and Building Commission NSW.

“Everyone should know how to identify, and if necessary, handle asbestos in their home, workplace or in a public place because of the serious health issues this substance can cause,” work health and safety NSW minister, Sophie Cotsis said.

“I fully endorse the proactive approach by SafeWork to ensure asbestos education is increased in the community and ensure this course is free.”

Recent reports of asbestos in mulching products has highlighted the need for readily available asbestos awareness training.

The ‘Asbestos Awareness and Safety’ microskill will be free to anyone in Australia for a period of three months, with the potential for extension pending public demand.

The two-and-a-half-hour course covers:
  • recognising the risk and serious long-term impacts of asbestos exposure
  • recognising the roles, responsibilities, and legislation for asbestos related work
  • how to determine if asbestos containing material may be present
  • identifying asbestos containing materials and hazardous activities that lead to asbestos exposure
  • identifying suitable control measures for asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM)
  • how to safely handle asbestos and ACM
  • inspecting worksites and communicating asbestos risks and asbestos controls with an informed perspective.

Completion of the course provides asbestos awareness training. Further training is required to conduct licensed asbestos removal work.

Members of the public can register for the course at TAFE NSW.

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