In New South Wales, it's against the law to perform tasks or direct another person to carry out asbestos-related work if you or they have not completed the necessary training.
What kind of training?
WorkCover New South Wales reveals there are a number of training options available, depending on what kind of asbestos-related work you intend to undertake.
Anyone operating in an environment that contains asbestos must be provided with general training that equips them with the knowledge to identify asbestos, handle it safely and understand what control measures should be used to manage asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACM).
If an environment is revealed to contain naturally occurring asbestos, employees must receive training to understand the risks associated with this as well.
This is the minimum level of training all staff involved in asbestos-related work must undertake.
What about asbestos removal workers?
If you are going to be performing asbestos removal work, however, you will need another set of qualifications under your belt. There are two main types of licences you can apply for: the non-friable class B asbestos removal licence and the friable class A asbestos removal licence.
The first enables the holder to remove non-friable asbestos, as well as any dust or debris contaminated by non-friable asbestos. A competent person who is 18 years of age or older and has at least 12 months experience in this field must be nominated and sign off on the application.
The friable class A asbestos removal licence allows the holder to remove both friable and non-friable asbestos and ACM. The application for this licence must also be submitted by a nominated, competent person who is at least 18 years old and has three years' experience with friable asbestos removal.
Each of these licences will last for five years, at which point they will need to be renewed.
What about asbestos assessors?
Finally, asbestos assessors must possess a unique licence before they are allowed to perform tasks such as air monitoring and clearance inspections.
If you have been exposed to asbestos-related work without the necessary training and have developed illnesses as a result, you may be eligible to make asbestos claims.