SafeWork launches ‘asbestos awareness’ course free to the public

Jarrod
By Jarrod
4 Min Read

SafeWork NSW has launched their ‘Asbestos Awareness and Safety’ course free to the public after a spike in reports of the material being found in Aussie worksites. 

Partnering with NSW’s Building Commission and TAFE NSW, the short self-directed online course, called a micro skill, is aimed at anyone likely to encounter asbestos in their workplace.

The two-and-a-half-hour course is designed to cover everything asbestos, including recognising the risks involved on site, identifying and safely disposing the hazardous materials and the protocol for reporting and communicating potential exposure. 

Tradies can find it on the Construct NSW digital learning platform as part of a wider suite of courses built in collaboration with the Department of Customer Service and Building Commission NSW.

The course comes only weeks after construction workers on the Brisbane Metro Project were forced to down tools after unearthing an asbestos-riddled concrete slab.

In a video later posted by the tradies to TikTok, the workers claimed there was no asbestos signage and nothing “making anyone aware that asbestos has been found in the area”. 

RELATED: Safety concerns rise as asbestos sees Brisbane Metro Project workers down tools

NSW Minister for Work Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis even encouraged the general public to enrol, saying that everyone should know how to identify and handle asbestos. 

The head of SafeWork NSWTrent Curtin, echoed her concerns, claiming that the hazardous material still posed a threat to many Australians.

“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,” he 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.

“Even if it is not a part of your day-to-day duties, knowledge on the proper processes for the management of asbestos is something you can use to not only protect your own health, but the health of those around you.”

The ‘Asbestos Awareness and Safety’ microskill will be free to anyone in Australia for a period of 3 months, with the potential for extension pending public demand.

NSW Minister for Building Anoulack Chanthivong said it’s up to the state’s Building Commission to keep Australians up to date with the latest information around asbestos. 

“Helping to develop and deliver this program is part the mandate we’ve given Building Commission NSW to ensure all those in the industry are up to date with rules and regulations designed to protect residents, workers and communities,” he said.

“Building Commission NSW is even more than just a tough cop on the beat, it’s also tasked with lifting skills across the sector.

“This fully discounted course on the Construct NSW digital learning platform provides greater opportunities for everyone, including small businesses and individuals, to upskill when it comes to asbestos risk.”

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Jarrod
By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.