AfPA upskilling the industry

AfPA has launched ‘Be Bitumen Safe’ training program as part of its flexible pavement industry skills card.

The Australian Flexible Pavement Association (AfPA) has launched the first phase of its industry skills card, which will strengthen the safety, knowledge and expertise of the workforce.

Called Be Bitumen Safe, the first phase comprises pre-requisite training, following on to units taken from the Certificate III Bituminous Surfacing qualification. It provides instruction on safety for all personnel who work within 15 meters of hot bituminous materials and asphalt at any time.

Be Bitumen Safe has been welcomed by the Western Australian Government and will be required to work on all the state’s major road projects involving bitumen.

The certification card is being developed by AfPA and the rest of the industry to ensure training consistency. It will equip workers with the skills needed to excel in the industry and complete roadworks safely.

With road building and maintenance to be a key pillar of Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID pandemic, the Be Bitumen Safe card will be an important qualification in delivering quality road projects across the country.

Following the successful launch of Be Bitumen Safe with Main Roads Western Australia, it will be rolled out across other states and territories.

The next phases of the industry card will target Asphalting and Spray Sealing operations and introduce other industry specific short courses, such as Chain of Responsibility and a National Work Around Mobile Plant course.

“This is a positive step forward for the industry, which will quickly see training uniformity across our workforce. It has been great to see the collaboration between our members – both industry and government agencies – to launch the rollout the Be Bitumen Safe card,” says Tanja Conners, Executive Director for Knowledge and Partnerships at AfPA.

“We expect Be Bitumen Safe will quickly become a benchmark for people working on road building and maintenance projects, as we seek to upskill our workforce and ensure our industry is ready to deliver the many road projects in the pipelines of government infrastructure spending.”

Be Bitumen Safe is most compatible to be completed on a mobile (preferred device) and can be downloaded to be available offline. The training will work on a PC but the platform is not as user friendly.

Who should do this course?

Anyone requiring proof of the industry approved AfPA endorsed course being completed:

  • External third party contractors (e.g. Electrician, mechanic, plumber, delivery)
  • Plant and non-field staff directing others
  • Client, government and other agency reps
  • Administration
  • Management and surveillance
  • Visitors to site
  • Consultants

At the conclusion of this course participants will have a basic understanding of:

  • Bitumen basics
  • The safety culture
  • Identify basic hazards and risks associated with hot bitumen and asphalt
  • First aid for bitumen burns, including heat stress and fatigue basic management
  • What causes fire, explosion, fumes and vapours
  • Using fire extinguishers
  • The effects of water contamination, spills and leaks
  • Personal safety and PPE

The Be Bitumen Safe training will be delivered online here.

This article was originally published in the November edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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