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Transitional arrangements

Transitional arrangements for asbestos have been phased in from 1 January 2012.

Under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (PDF, 2.53 MB) (WHS Regulation 2011), a class A asbestos removal licence is required for:

A class B asbestos removal licence is required for:

Class A asbestos removal licence holders are also authorised to carry out Class B asbestos removal work.

Class A asbestos removal (friable)

Old friable asbestos certificates (class A)

A business holding a class A certificate for friable asbestos removal issued under the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2008 (WHS Regulation 2008) is authorised to carry out licensed asbestos removal work up to 31 December 2013. This applies despite any other expiry date on the certificate.

This gives pre-1 January 2012 class A friable asbestos certificate holders until 31 December 2013 to apply for a new class A asbestos removal licence under the WHS Regulation 2011.

A class A friable asbestos removal certificate that was issued under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008 is regarded as a 'transitional class A asbestos removal licence'. These are valid until 31 December 2013. After this, only Class A asbestos removal licences issued under the WHS Regulation 2011 are valid.

'Competent persons' for class A friable asbestos certificate holders

For transitional class A asbestos removal licence holders, a 'competent person' for supervising friable asbestos removal work under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008 is regarded as a supervisor under the WHS Regulation 2011.

If there is a change in supervisors, the transitional class A asbestos removal licence holder must notify Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ). While operating under the transitional class A asbestos removal licence, it is sufficient for the supervisor to meet the requirements for a 'competent person' under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008.

Training for workers under a transitional class A asbestos removal licence

Transitional class A asbestos removal licence holders must continue to ensure that their workers have received appropriate training in safe working methods for carrying out asbestos removal. This maintains the training requirement under s.49 of the repealed WHS Regulation 2008 during the transitional period.

By 31 December 2013, all workers carrying out class A asbestos removal work will need to have certification in VET course CPCCDE3015A Remove friable asbestos.

S.460 of the WHS Regulation 2011 requires all licensed asbestos removalists to provide 'appropriate training' to workers to ensure the licensed asbestos removal work is carried out in accordance with the asbestos removal control plan. For s.460(2) of the WHS Regulation, 'appropriate training' means training designed specifically for the workplace where the licensed asbestos removal work is carried out and the work to be carried out at the workplace. This requirement applies from 1 January 2012.

Conditions for transitional class A asbestos removal licences

A transitional class A asbestos removal licence is subject to the following conditions:

Applicants for a new class A asbestos removal licence if the VET course for asbestos removal supervisors is not reasonably available within Queensland

If a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) wants to apply for a new class A asbestos removal licence under the WHS Regulation 2011, but the VET course for asbestos removal supervisors is not reasonably available within Queensland, it is still possible for the PCBU to apply for the licence. Instead of showing that the person nominated as supervisor has completed the specified VET course, the applicant can demonstrate that the supervisor is a 'competent person' under Information Paper AR2 (Requirements for a competent person to supervise work to remove friable asbestos containing material) issued under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008.

If the new licence is granted, it will be on the condition that each person nominated as a supervisor obtains a certificate for the VET course CPCCBC4051A Supervise asbestos removal as soon as practicable after the course becomes available (and in no case later than 31 December 2014), and that a copy of the certificate is provided to WHSQ.

Certified safety management systems

Applicants for a class A asbestos removal licence must provide evidence that they have in place a certified work health and safety management system that complies with AS 4801:2001 (Occupational health and safety management systems), or an equivalent system determined by WHSQ.

WHSQ has deemed that the AS 4801:2001 compliant safety management system or equivalent certified safety management system must be certified by:

Transitional class A asbestos removal licence holders wanting to apply for a new class A asbestos removal licence have until 31 December 2013 to obtain a certified WHS management system (s.745) and apply for the new licence under the WHS Regulation 2011.

Class B asbestos removal (non-friable asbestos)

Old bonded asbestos removal certificates (class B)

A bonded asbestos removal certificate (also known as a class B asbestos removal certificate) issued under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008 continues in effect up to 31 December 2014 despite any other expiry date on the certificate.

Under the WHS Regulation 2011, only a PCBU proposing to carry out class B asbestos removal work is required to hold a class B asbestos removal licence. This is different to the requirements in the repealed WHS Regulation 2008 where all individuals carrying out certain bonded asbestos removal work were required to hold a bonded asbestos removal certificate.

Certificates issued under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008 are regarded as a 'transitional class B asbestos removal licence'.

A transitional class B asbestos removal licence authorises the carrying out of class B asbestos removal work, which is:

PCBUs who are holders of transitional class B asbestos removal licences will have up to 31 December 2014 to apply for a new class B asbestos removal licence.

Supervisors for class B asbestos removal work

The WHS Regulation 2011 has requirements about nominated asbestos removal supervisors for licensed asbestos removal work. Licensed asbestos removal work requires either a class A or class B asbestos removal licence.

For class B asbestos removal work, a licensed asbestos removalist is required to ensure a nominated asbestos removal supervisor is readily available to a worker carrying out the asbestos removal work. Where work is being carried out under a transitional class B asbestos removal licence, a reference to the nominated asbestos removal supervisor is taken to include a holder of a transitional class B asbestos removal licence performing the function of supervising the asbestos removal work.

When notifying the regulator about proposed licensed asbestos removal work, a transitional class B asbestos removal licence holder does not need to include the details of a nominated asbestos removal supervisor.

By 31 December 2014, all supervisors for Class B asbestos removal work will need to have certification in the VET course CPCCBC4051A Supervise asbestos removal.* Once a new class B asbestos removal licence is granted under the WHS Regulation 2011, the licence holder will be required to comply with all requirements regarding the nominated asbestos removal supervisor, including ensuring they are readily available for supervision of class B asbestos removal work and including the supervisor's contact details when notifying WHSQ about licensed asbestos removal work.

* Training of supervisors for class B asbestos removal work has been identified as an issue in a recent review of the WHS laws in Queensland. Any potential changes for existing or new class B asbestos removal licence holders will be announced on the WHSQ website.

Conditions for transitional class B asbestos removal licences

A transitional class B asbestos removal licence is subject to the following conditions:

Applicants for a new class B asbestos removal licence if the VET course for asbestos removal supervisors is not reasonably available within Queensland

If a PCBU wants to apply for a new class B asbestos removal licence but the VET course for asbestos removal supervisors (CPCCBC4051A Supervise asbestos removal) is not reasonably available within Queensland, it is still possible for the PCBU to apply for the licence. Instead of showing that the person nominated as supervisor has certification in the specified VET course, the applicant can demonstrate that the supervisor holds:

If the new licence is granted, it will be on the condition that each person nominated as a supervisor obtains a certificate for the VET course Supervise asbestos removal* as soon as practicable after the course becomes available (and in no case later than 31 December 2014), and that a copy of the certificate is provided to WHSQ.

* Training of supervisors for class B asbestos removal work has been identified as an issue in a recent review of the WHS laws in Queensland. Any potential changes for existing or new class B asbestos removal licence holders will be announced on the WHSQ website.

Training for workers carrying out licensed asbestos removal work (class A and class B asbestos removal work)

The WHS Regulation 2011 has requirements for training of workers carrying out licensed asbestos removal work. Licensed asbestos removalists must ensure workers hold certification in the new VET courses for asbestos removal that are relevant to the class of asbestos removal work being carried out (that is, either VET course CPCCDE3015A Remove friable asbestos for class A asbestos removal work, or CPCCDE3014A Remove non-friable asbestos for class B asbestos removal work. The course Remove friable asbestos is also acceptable for class B asbestos removal work).

A transitional class A asbestos removal licence holder has until 31 December 2013 to ensure the licence holder’s workers obtain certification in the VET course CPCCDE3015A Remove friable asbestos.

Workers who hold a transitional Class B asbestos removal licence have up to 31 December 2014 to obtain certification in the VET course CPCCDE3014A Remove non-friable asbestos.

In addition to the new VET courses for asbestos removal work, s.460 of the WHS Regulation 2011 requires all licensed asbestos removalists to provide 'appropriate training' to workers to ensure the licensed asbestos removal work is carried out in accordance with the asbestos removal control plan. For s.460(2) of the WHS Regulation, 'appropriate training' means training designed specifically for the workplace where the licensed asbestos removal work is carried out and the work to be carried out at the workplace. This requirement applies from 1 January 2012.

Air monitoring, clearance inspections and certificates

Licensed asbestos assessors - class A asbestos removal work (friable asbestos)

Under the WHS Regulation 2011, an independent licensed asbestos assessor is required to carry out certain functions connected with class A asbestos removal work. These are:

Until 31 December 2013, a reference to a licensed asbestos assessor includes a person who:

From 1 January 2014, the asbestos assessor must hold an asbestos assessor licence issued under the WHS Regulation 2011.

Competent persons - class B asbestos removal work (non-friable asbestos)

Under the WHS Regulation 2011, an independent competent person is required to carry out a clearance inspection and issue a clearance certificate following Class B asbestos removal work.

Until 31 December 2014, a reference to a 'competent person' for s.473 and s.474 of the WHS Regulation 2011 is taken to include a 'person who has acquired through training, qualifications and experience the knowledge and skills to carry out the task'.

From 1 January 2015, a competent person for a clearance inspection for Class B asbestos removal work must be a person who*:

* Clearance inspection requirements following class B asbestos removal work have been identified as an issue in a recent review of the WHS laws in Queensland. Any potential changes will be announced on the WHSQ website.

Asbestos registers and asbestos management plans for workplace buildings

The repealed WHS Regulation 2008 required workplace buildings constructed before 1 January 1990 to have an asbestos register.

The WHS Regulation 2011 requires asbestos registers unless:

If an asbestos register was not required under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008, a person has until 31 December 2014 to comply with the new requirements about asbestos registers in Parts 8.3 and 8.6 of the WHS Regulation 2011. This provides a phase-in time for workplace buildings constructed between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 2003, and also workplace buildings constructed after 31 December 2003* where asbestos has been identified or is likely to be present from time to time.

* The cut-off date for asbestos registers has been identified as an issue in a recent review of the WHS laws in Queensland. Any potential changes to cut-off date requirements for asbestos registers will be announced on the WHSQ website.

The same transitional period has been provided for asbestos management plans at workplaces. If an asbestos management plan was not required under the repealed WHS Regulation 2008, a person has until 31 December 2014 to comply with requirements about asbestos management plans in Part 8.3 of the WHS Regulation 2011.

Health monitoring for asbestos workers

The WHS Regulation 2011 has requirements for health monitoring for certain workers involved in asbestos removal or other asbestos-related work, Part 8.5, Division 1 (ss.435 to 444). These provisions commence on 1 January 2015.

Asbestos management plans for naturally occurring asbestos

The WHS Regulation 2011 has requirements for asbestos management plans where naturally occurring asbestos is identified or likely to be present at a workplace (s.432 and s.433). These provisions commence on 1 January 2014.

GHS labelling for containers and asbestos waste

The WHS Regulation 2011 has requirements regarding labelling of containers and asbestos waste (ss.471, 472, 483 and 484). There is a transitional period in relation to the requirement for labelling to be done in accordance with the GHS (Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, Third revised edition published by the United Nations as modified under schedule 6 of the WHS Regulation 2011). Current labelling provisions and the GHS system will operate concurrently until 31 December 2016, after which classification and labelling will be required only in accordance with GHS.

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