TAFE NSW is forming partnerships with Councils along the Northern Rivers to equip the region with critical skills in Asbestos Removal for flood recovery.
Staff from Lismore City Council, Richmond Valley Council, and Ballina Shire Council are undertaking the training to safely identify and remove asbestos from buildings.
It comes after extensive consultation with affected community councils and local industry revealed a need for safely handling asbestos was required to support local communities get back on their feet.
Forty-eight council employees have undertaken Remove Friable Asbestos training and twelve have undertaken training in Supervising the removal of Asbestos.
Lismore City Council General Manager John Walker said asbestos has become a major issue following the February natural disaster.
“With so many houses and Council infrastructure built before we understood the danger of asbestos, the safe removal of this material as our community cleans up and rebuilds, is a major issue of our community,” he said.
“This TAFE NSW course equipped our waste and safety staff with the knowledge and know-how to safely supervise and remove asbestos. This means external contractors will not always be required, making our rebuild a quicker and safer process.”
TAFE NSW Construction Teacher Scott Macleod said TAFE NSW knows the task of recovery is enormous.
“The recent floods have had a devastating impact across NSW and our focus is on helping these communities clean-up and rebuild as soon as possible. TAFE NSW is working to equip locals with the skills they need to recover,” Mr Macleod said.
“Asbestos is often found in buildings built or renovated before 1990. It is extremely fibrous and the tiny fibres are easily breathed in where they can become trapped in the lungs. Being exposed to asbestos increases the risk of developing various types of cancers.
“This is why the course focuses on the nature of the hazards and risks of asbestos, how it can affect a person’s health, the methods and equipment you need to do the job safely, as well as choosing, using, and caring for personal protective equipment and more,” Mr Macleod said.
For more information on the range of TAFE NSW construction courses, phone 131 601 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au