Between 1968 -1978 a company operating in the ACT installed loose fill asbestos in just over 1,000 Canberra homes. While a program to remove this asbestos was undertaken by the ACT and Commonwealth Governments between 1988 and 1993, residual amounts of this loose fill asbestos may still be present in inaccessible areas such as the wall cavities and cornices of these homes.
In August 2014, the ACT Government, responded to these conditions and mandated asbestos awareness training for all workers working with asbestos or asbestos containing materials.
The Government identified there were various asbestos training and delivery models in the ACT but these often had inconsistent and inadequate learning outcomes for trainees. In addition, the accreditation process for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to deliver the asbestos training was delaying the ACT Government’s timely response to this issue.
To provide clear, consistent and higher quality asbestos awareness training across the Territory, the ACT Government, through WorkSafe ACT, reviewed and revised its regulatory framework and licensing requirements. WorkSafe ACT now registers and licences RTOs to deliver the asbestos awareness training. A number of RTOs have been licensed and are now delivering the asbestos awareness training to the level required under the ACT legislation.
The revised Asbestos Awareness Training [10314NAT] was developed by the ACT Construction Industry Training Council and is registered with the Australian Skills Quality Authority.
There has been a strong uptake and acceptance of the asbestos awareness training. Outcomes are expected to show an improvement in work health and safety practices when working with and around materials containing asbestos in the ACT.
The ACT Government has adopted the model asbestos regulations which commenced on 1 January 2015. However, the Asbestos Awareness Training developed by the ACT Government responds to local conditions and goes beyond the minimum required in the model legislation.
For more information visit the WorkSafe ACT website.