Asbestos awareness training fact sheet

Asbestos awareness training gives workers and supervisors the knowledge they need to identify and work safely with asbestos or asbestos containing material.

The purpose of awareness training is to ensure workers understand where asbestos might be found and what steps to take to stay safe. 

Training should provide information on:

  • identification, safe handling and appropriate control measures 
  • asbestos containing materials (ACMs)
  • naturally occurring asbestos 
  • loose fill asbestos (raw asbestos crushed into a fine state and installed as insulation).

If you are an employer or business (or other PCBU), you are responsible for 

  • giving workers appropriate information and instruction about the risks and controls necessary to do their work safely.
  • determining the right  training for each worker.

You need formal training and a WorkCover licence if you carry out friable and non-friable asbestos removal.

Who needs awareness training?

Asbestos awareness training is mandatory for anyone whose normal work duties  present a reasonable likelihood of disturbing or coming into contact with asbestos. 

Examples include:

  • workers who enter ceiling cavities (such as insulation installers; pest spray operators; air-conditioning installers; maintenance and repair workers; solar panel providers)
  • electricians; plumbers; carpenters and joiners; plasterers; painters and decorators; gas fitters; demolition workers; floor finishers
  • emergency services workers
  • building and construction workers.

Types of training available

Workers and supervisors can complete asbestos awareness training in a number of ways: 

  • formal, vocational training 
  • informal training

Training can be general or industry specific.

Formal training 

This includes completing a nationally recognised unit of competency or an accredited course delivered by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). 

Examples include:

For details on formal courses delivered by the vocational education and training sector please refer to training.gov.au

Informal training 

This includes non-accredited courses and in-house training programs.

Training can be face- to-face or delivered online and may include classroom or practical, on-site elements. You may find larger companies offer this training in-house.

Asbestos awareness training can also be delivered as general or industry specific information. For example, Implementing safe lead paint and asbestos work practices in the painting industry is an industry specific course. PCBUs should discuss industry appropriate training requirements with their preferred training provider.

You should seek expert training and advice from an occupational hygienist or a licensed asbestos assessor before any works start if loose fill asbestos insulation is likely to be found in the workplace.

Record keeping

The employer or business (or other PCBU) is required to keep a record of a worker’s training while they are carrying out work and for five years after the day the worker ceases work.

Workers do not need an asbestos awareness training card.

Further information  

Codes of practice:

For further information about managing the risks of asbestos, visit the other asbestos pages on this site, the asbestos awareness site, and the loose fill asbestos website or call us on 13 10 50.

A PDF of this information is also available for download.

Catalogue No. WC01739 WorkCover NSW 0615

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Email
contact@workcover.nsw.gov.au
Telephone
13 10 50