An Insiders Guide to Asbestos Removal

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AlertForce is in the health and safety training business, specifically Asbestos Removal Training. This Insider's Guide to Asbestos Removal is a 'sneak peak' introduction to the full report offered on the AlertForce website http://alertforce.com.au/download-your-free-asbestos-report/. We offer industry specific information within this comprehensive report and outline (in the full report) exactly how to obtain an Asbestos removal license.

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An Insiders Guide to Asbestos Removal

  1. 1. Report: An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal AlertForce Pty Limited Suite 205, 24-30 Springfield Avenue, Potts Point NSW 2011 Page | 1 – AnABN: 61 571 082to Asbestos Removal in Australia insider’s guide 880 PH: 1800 900 222 Email: training@AlertForce.com.au Web: AlertForce.com.au AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  2. 2. Contents Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 2 About our organisation ...................................................................................................... 4 Fatal attraction .................................................................................................................. 5 A common story ................................................................................................................ 6 Serious about asbestos ..................................................................................................... 8 The new asbestos regime – how do we comply? ............................................................. 9 The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency .................................................................. 9 National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management ............................... 10 Compliance – Commercial Buildings .............................................................................. 11 Asbestos survey requirements ........................................................................................ 11 Business opportunities .................................................................................................... 12 Licence process by State ................................................................................................ 14 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in NSW ............................................................. 15 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in WA ............................................................... 18 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in ACT .............................................................. 20 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in Queensland .................................................. 23 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in Tasmania ...................................................... 26 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in Victoria .......................................................... 29 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in South Australia .............................................. 32 How to get an Asbestos A or B licence in Northern Territory .......................................... 34 Page | 2 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  3. 3. Dear Colleague, After years of experience in the industry and seeing the good, bad and the ugly of people trying to do better in their health and safety career, I’ve put together this short report about the opportunities currently available around Asbestos Removal. This report is designed as an educational service to help individuals, and businesses, make the right choices in the Work Health and Safety field (previously know as OHS) and maximise your chances of getting the best jobs and that next jump up in pay. For transparency, I declare that AlertForce is in the health and safety training business, specifically Asbestos Removal Training hence the interest in the subject. Being successful at getting the job you want is inevitably supported by quality training. If we can be of help with your career, we’re only a phone call or email away, and, regardless of whether we can help you with your career or not, I wish you every success with maximising your earning potential. Sincerely, Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222 brendan@alertforce.com.au Page | 3 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  4. 4. About AlertForce AlertForce specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, online and face-to-face WHS courses to mitigate risk and health and safety hazards in workplaces. Our customers range from individuals through to international blue-chip companies such as Telstra, NBN Co, Ausgrid, ISGM and BHP Billiton. AlertForce are also a Registered Training Organisation (NTIS 91826). Accredited courses are represented on our website where ever you see the Nationally Recognised Training logo on our website. About Brendan Torazzi Brendan has 20 years experience in running small service-based businesses that service corporate and government clients. After finishing a Bachelor of Commerce Degree (B.Comm UNSW), Brendan successfully ran a translation agency business for 11 years before selling it to a larger concern in 2002. At AlertForce, Brendan brings many years of good old fashioned client-based service as well as a love of quality education. He has recently, early 2013, finished a Masters of Business Technology (MBT) at the University of NSW with a distinction average. Page | 4 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  5. 5. Fatal Attraction Asbestos, once claimed to be the world’s miracle fibre and named from the ancient Greek word for ''inextinguishable'' is heat resistant, cheap, strong and flexible, making it the perfect material for more than 3000 products, including insulation, vinyl /carpet underlay, brake linings, roof tiles and cement sheeting. Asbestos fibres are up to 200 times thinner than a human hair. Because asbestos is such a tiny fibre with barbs or hooks, it needs to be attached to something. When asbestos fibres are mixed with other materials, it produces what is called an asbestos containing material or for acronym lovers ACM. It was easily mined then combined, and Australia loved it. Now, for good reason, it’s called the “Devils Dust”. Any house or commercial building built before 2003 (when it was banned) is assumed to contain asbestos. Bill Shorten, the employment and workplace relations minister, drew the analogy: Page | 5 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  6. 6. "More people will die from asbestos in Australia than died in the fields of Flanders in World War I” There is a move for all home renovators to have their property assessed prior to renovations however we are not quite there yet. The DIY home renovator phenomenon has exploded over the last 5 or so years (everyone’s a builder now) but has anyone seen asbestos warnings or asbestos safety segments on the TV renovation shows? It is envisaged a third wave of asbestos disease affected people will start to emerge. It started with miners, wharfies and all sorts of tradesmen and their family members. Now a different generation of home renovators and others are being diagnosed with cancer after exposure to asbestos. It’s called the “Third Wave” of asbestos sufferers. First came the miners, many from the Wittenoom blue asbestos mine in Western Australia's Pilbara, which closed in 1967. Next were the people who worked directly with asbestos, in factories, unloading it at the docks, or as builders, plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Now, the third or ''third person'' wave is emerging and includes wave two children and home renovators. Asbestos, once claimed to be the world’s miracle fibre is now, for good reason, called the “Devils Dust”. Page | 6 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  7. 7. A common story We own a humble Red Bricker (house) built in the 60’s – there’s asbestos on the kitchen walls behind a renovation that was done some 8 years ago. Same for the bathroom – it’s behind the tiles after a bathroom Reno' the previous owners did. There’s asbestos cladding in the laundry, under the eaves, on the plumbing and get this – when we moved in we found something under the house that was big, flat and wrapped in plastic, leaning against a brick wall. Like all home buyers we paid for a building inspection before buying – not a word about asbestos. But don’t worry – we got rid of the big flat plastic gift, gratuitously left by the previous owner (yes it was cladding containing asbestos) and all other asbestos is “contained” (painted & sealed). Page | 7 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  8. 8. Serious about asbestos Renewed awareness in the community brought asbestos top of mind with the recent furore over asbestos disposal (Telstra pits) by NBN contractors and a timely reminder that the devils dust is a clear & present danger everywhere. Concern over the asbestos related disease fatalities and the Telstra pit episode has prompted Governments in Australia to regulate everything “asbestos”. Before this it was slowly, slowly in terms of training and documenting competency of asbestos workers but now it’s a matter of urgency. Going back a little, there’s a new work health and safety regime (WHS Act & Regulations 2011) from 1 January 2012 and following on, a new asbestos regime. On July 1, the new Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency will begin work on a national strategic plan to remove asbestos from government and commercial buildings, increase asbestos awareness and tackle illegal dumping of the toxic waste. It will also oversee the National Asbestos Exposure Register, launched on June 7, which allows everyone to record details of incidents where they may have breathed in asbestos fibres. This applies to the NBN / Telstra pit incidents. Page | 8 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  9. 9. The new asbestos regime – how do we comply? Some dry stuff, but you need to know this…. The Work Health & Safety (WHS) Act 2011 and WHS Regulations 2011 took affect 1 January 2012. The Act & the Regulations include new requirements for asbestos management including a focus on inspection, signage, planning and documentation. Chapter 8 in the regulations contains specific provisions relating to asbestos. This chapter includes requirements for the control of exposure to asbestos as well as requirements for PCBUs (employers) who have management or control of a workplace to manage asbestos. This duty includes requirements relating to the identification of asbestos, recording the location of asbestos in a register, and planning for the management of asbestos. Chapter 8 also includes provisions for the licensing of asbestos removalists and asbestos assessors. Asbestos assessors In addition to the WHS Act & Regulations 2011 there are 2 new Codes of Practice – These codes show you how to manage everything asbestos. CODE OF PRACTICE Ø HOW TO MANAGE AND CONTROL ASBESTOS IN THE WORKPLACE and Ø HOW TO SAFELY REMOVE ASBESTOS Source: Alertforce.com.au will be trainedre and licenced and only asbestos assessors conduct air will monitoring be able and to issue clearance certificates where friable (loose) asbestos is being removed. Another key change in NSW is that applicants for a Class A (friable) asbestos removal licence will need to have a certified safety management system. Transitional arrangements for existing licence holders are in place (See the Alertforce website) All states have pre-existing asbestos requirements with no significant barrier to compliance. While Victoria and Western Australia have not immediately adopted the new Workplace Health & Safety laws it is envisaged they will align to the new national standard in terms of asbestos health & safety. Queensland is the only state with a formal grace period until January 2014. A “quick look” summary by Jurisdiction is set out at the end of this report. The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency On 1 July 2013 the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency commenced operations as Australia’s first national, independent agency dedicated to working with jurisdictions and stakeholders to create a nationally consistent approach to the eradication, handling and awareness of asbestos. The Agency will implement the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management. Page | 9 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  10. 10. National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management The aim of the Plan is to prevent exposure to asbestos fibres, in order to eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia. Sadly, asbestos-related deaths are not expected to peak until 2020, and tragically, it has been estimated that another 3040,000 people will be diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in the next 20 years. An additional $6.4 million is allocated for the new Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency to implement the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management. The additional $6.4 million will allow the Agency to develop strategies for awareness raising, conduct research, improve identification techniques and finding and sharing best practice in asbestos management and handling. WA is not supporting this initiative. The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council, with representatives from states and territories, unions, business and community groups, will assist the Agency in its work. The Agency also manages the first National Asbestos Exposure Register. The register captures the details of members of the community who think they may have been exposed to asbestos containing materials (ACMs). It is available at www.asbestossafety.gov.au Steps to compliance Step 1. Get a survey done Go through your portfolio and ascertain which buildings were completed before 1st January 2004). Once you have the list order an asbestos survey as soon as reasonably practicable. Step 2. Act on survey results All surveys whether asbestos or ACM are found, must be kept onsite and available. If asbestos or ACM are found you need to ensure a new compliant onsite asbestos register and Asbestos Management Plan (AMP) is provided and made available to those who might be at risk. An AMP should be developed by professional Asbestos specialists so it will tell all, what they need to know. Page | 10 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  11. 11. Compliance – Commercial Buildings All buildings that contain a common property workplace built before 1st January 2004 must comply. The fact is while blue asbestos or Crocidolite (the most dangerous asbestos) was phased out from 1967 asbestos like Amosite were used until 1987 and not fully banned from use until 31st December 2003. Asbestos survey requirements There is a requirement to survey the building area and identify all loose (friable) asbestos as well as stable kinds (bonded) found in building materials called Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM). ACM is found in all kinds of building materials. In fact there are over 3000. The most “at risk” people you deal with are your contractors. So ensure your engagement system allows for trades & contractors; How? Inform the contractor that there is an asbestos register onsite that they must consult before conducting any work. Make sure you document this. Keep the AMP and Register on site and provide the updated asbestos register and AMP to contractors etc before starting work. The AMP & Register must be updated yearly. If asbestos is found then the building needs to be regularly audited if the decision is to leave the ACM onsite in a stable “contained” state rather than to remove it. Asbestos is a serious health risk that must be managed. Immediate action to comply with the legislative changes is advised. Page | 11 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  12. 12. Business opportunities Things may be a bit slow in business land at the minute but the asbestos removable industry is a cracker. There is a short supply of people trained (and competent) in asbestos awareness and removal; supervisors and assessors are much needed. I was a safety meeting recently and talking with several blokes who were excavators. They advised they were moving away from general excavation into ACM (there’s that acronym again) removal. Same goes for those who see an opportunity and a move from labour intensive construction work to asbestos work. This is gaining momentum in the construction contracting industry today. Generally for Startup businesses or businesses that change their business model, this sad “needles of death” business presents a stable business outlook because even though Australia stopped mining asbestos in 1983, phased out its use in building products by 1989 and banned it entirely from 2004, it’s everywhere. Penrith asbestos contamination Mr O'Farrell said he arrived home on May 8 to find workers - who were not wearing safety equipment - breaking up asbestos near his front yard. He saw the dust spray all over his house and front lawn. WorkCover suspended the subcontractor responsible. It is believe the subcontractor had worked on 20 other sites in the Penrith region. A report from an independent hygienist confirmed three of the pits tested positive for asbestos. ``The more I looked the more asbestos I found. Then you think, 'Is it in my wife's lungs, my children's lungs and my baby's lungs?'." NBN Co is the government-owned corporation building the fibre optic network and its latest corporate plan says it will complete the project by 2020 -21. NBN Co itself describes its task as ''challenging''. By 2016 it plans to be wiring up an extraordinary 6100 premises per day. If the schedule slips so that it finishes four years later, in 2025, that’s a lot of asbestos to be removed over a long time. Burdened by the asbestos incident at Penrith, Telstra has suspended NBN work when it was found some contractors did not provide competent asbestos removal workers. Asbestos is everywhere in Australia’s built environment so good work ahead for those who operate in this industry. A word of warning to those moving into the asbestos removal business. NBN contractors are sacking workers across the state because it is unknown when Telstra will restart remediation work on Page | 12 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222
  13. 13. asbestos-affected pits. It has been 10 weeks since the Telstra remediation works stopped so careful business and financial planning is required before throwing all your eggs into the Telstra pits. For the full report visit: http://alertforce.com.au/download-your-freeasbestos-report/ James Hardy Meanwhile – a note on asbestos product claims. Claims against James Hardy (the Netherlands based company – or is it Ireland now? anyway… they were here in Australia) are increasing with the average claim higher than first budgeted. James Hardy assumed claims would peak in 2011 however are now thinking the “peak” is somewhere in the future and they have advised they are “keeping an eye” on the trend. With an increase in claims and the higher average pay-out, there is pressure on the fund set up for compensation, for those who have asbestos related diseases linked to James Hardy products. James Hardie Chief said (of sorts) its profit was expected to remain steady as housing conditions here and overseas improved. Phew! Page | 13 – An insider’s guide to Asbestos Removal in Australia AlertForce.com.au Ph: 1800 900 222

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