Safe Work Australia has recently provided an update on the rollout of national competency units for working with asbestos.
According to Safe Work Australia, the new Work Health and Safety (WHS) Asbestos Regulations will harmonise the country’s licensing, training and competency arrangements for workers involved in asbestos removal.
Two licences have been set out under the new WHS Regulations – Class A and Class B. Businesses with a Class A licence can remove all types of asbestos including friable and non-friable asbestos. Businesses with Class B licence are only allowed to remove non-friable asbestos.
A new licence category for asbestos assessors was also created under the new WHS Regulation. The role of the licensed asbestos assessor is to conduct air monitoring and clearance inspections following removal of friable asbestos.
Units of Competency
Safe Work Australia has set out competency requirements which aim to standardise the skills and knowledge required to safely carry out asbestos removal. This move is expected to raise the standard and safety of asbestos removal.
The four units of competency are part of the Construction, Plumbing and Property Services Industry Training Package (CPC08). These were developed by the Construction, Plumbing and Property Services Industry Skills Council through consultations with industry, union and regulator stakeholders.
- Remove non-friable asbestos (CPCCDE3014A)
This Level 3 unit contains only the elements necessary to remove non-friable asbestos to support the Class B licence.
- Remove Friable asbestos (CPCCDE3015A)
This Level 3 unit contains all the elements necessary to remove friable and non-friable asbestos Class A licence.
- Supervise Asbestos Removal (CPCCBC4051A)
This Level 4 unit provides the management and administrative skills necessary to oversee an asbestos removal operation.
- Conduct asbestos assessment associated with removal (CPCCBC5014A)
This Level 5 unit provides the applicant with specialist skills and knowledge to conduct air monitoring.
Training delivery programs and assessment tools are currently being developed by Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to meet these units of competency.
Safe Work Australia has also developed transitional principles to set out how arrangements under existing legislation are intended to the new harmonised system.
More information on transitional arrangements can be found on the Safe Work Australia website.