Working Safely with Asbestos Containing Materials

Australias History with Asbestos

Up until the mid-1980s, Australia had one of the highest rates of asbestos use, per person in the world. Exposure to asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening illnesses and as of its significant health risk the use of asbestos was banned in Australia on the 31st December 2003.

However, a large amount of asbestos still remains in older structures and products, potentially exposing workers and/or the public to asbestos.

Evidence from industry indicates that despite the detail contained in the appropriate Code of Practice, potentially dangerous work practices are currently still being used to drill or penetrate Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs), placing workers, householders and others at risk of inhaling asbestos fibres.

Course Overview

10852NAT Course in Working Safely with Asbestos Containing Materials is underpinned by extensive research and supervised development testing of existing technologies (on actual ACM) to reduce exposure to friable asbestos and has been designed to provide the knowledge and skills to identify ACMs and implement the necessary controls before performing work that may involve activity that will potentially liberate the asbestos fibres from their bonding material, typically around residential and commercial premises.

What has Energy Skills Australia done about it?

In response to this identified need, Energy Skills Australia developed and is the custodian of 10852NAT Course in Working Safely with Asbestos Containing Materials. The only nationally accredited course designed specifically to train workers in how to safely drill into asbestos containing materials, minimising risks to the individuals and the community.

Is this course mandatory?

In February 2019 the ACT Government announced from 1 July 2019, it is mandatory for people in occupations that are likely to work with materials that contain asbestos must complete 10852NAT Course in Working Safely with Asbestos Containing Materials (or its equivalent successor).

Further information on the ACT requirements can be found on WorkSafe ACT.

Energy Skills Australia works closely with the ACT Government and ACT Worksafe Inspectors to access a secure portal to enable them to monitor who has enrolled and/or completed the required training in the ACT.

Who can apply?

The course is effected through Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) being licenced by Energy Skills Australia. All training and assessment resources are provided through a platform called Energy Space who provide comprehensive reporting. If you are an RTO and want to put this course on scope, fill out and submit the Expression Of Interest (EOI)and the team will get back to you.
Expression Of Interest

What else is Energy Skills Australia doing to combat Asbestos in the Industry?

As the national industry skills council for the energy sectors, Energy Skills Australia ongoing commitment and continued support to combate asbestos in the industry expands past just electricians. We know the Electricity Supply Industry, Utilities and Telecommunications Sector have a high risk of coming across asbestos containing material (ACMs) in their jobs. Improving awareness and guidance materials across the Utilities sectors will reduce the risk of asbestos-related incidents.

This is why Energy Skills Australia is currently in the process of developing a national course specifically for utilities workers to recognise and respond to asbestos risk in the workplace. Watch this space.

Who delivers this course?

Below is a list of RTOs approved to deliver the 1085NAT Course in Working Safely with Asbestos Containing Materials.

Contact them to arrange enrollments.