As the waste industry learns to adapt to best practice technologies, SmartTech Australia is taking steps to grow their national footprint.
One of Australia’s few Federal Government accredited waste courses has undergone a revamp to meet present day industry standards and challenges.
Waste services continue to grow rapidly, with new talent comprising engineers and environmental science graduates joining the expanding workforce.
The waste sector employs around 50,000 people and contributes more than $50 billion to the Australian economy. While the bread and butter of waste – transportation – remains a central part of the industry, the sector as a whole needs to remain nimble if it is to meet the challenges of the future.
Based in Sydney, Academy Green Learning has for years offered Certificates III and IV in Waste Management. All Academy Green Learning trainers have extensive professional development not only in the vocational areas of waste, but also in the industry with an abundance of real-life experiences to draw from.
They maintain this currency by working closely with present-day employers who are seen to be leaders in the industry.
The Federal Government-accredited courses have continued to help upskill the waste sector, but this year have been updated to reflect the contemporary landscape.
Mani Kasmani, Training Assessor at Academy Green Learning, says the courses underwent an overhaul to reflect modern regulations and the international market, including China’s National Sword policy.
He says that for example, the new courses reflect a need to cover workplace health and safety (WHS) harmonisation, which has traditionally caused problems in organisations operating in multiple states and territories.
Mani says that some of the important elements of the WHS discussion outlined in the course is the need to meet Chain of Responsibility (CoR) requirements. Under the CoR, if you are named as a party in the chain of responsibility, and you exercise or are capable of exercising control or influence over any transport task, you have a responsibility to ensure you comply with the law.
“One of the things we cover is the CoR and traffic control, which is about reminding drivers and those unloading goods that they need to comply,” Mani says.
Mani adds that the importance of safe handling of goods in the logistics sector, coupled with the need for appropriate equipment such as personal protective equipment, makes the courses particularly pertinent. He adds that additional regulation around asbestos and WHS is also prompting a need for greater professional development.
Shadi Faraj, Group Training Manager at BINGO Industries, says that more than 100 staff at BINGO’s Eastern Creek, Alexandria and Auburn recycling centres have benefited from the Certificate III in Waste Management and Certificate III in Driving Operations.
Shadi, who manages registered training organisation courses at BINGO, says the Academy Green courses have attracted a diverse range of employees, from drivers to labourers and machine operators.
Drivers have undertaken the Driving Operations course in NSW and Victoria.
“Team members are learning more about the theory behind the practical application they do everyday. It’s knowing that the outcome of their work can affect the final product and the recycling economy and taking steps towards best practice,” Shadi explains.
Shadi says that for some BINGO employees this is their first foray into professional development.
“Many people have come to me and thanked me for putting them through the course. The further along the course they go, the more positive effect and impact it has had.”
He says CoR lessons have been of great relevance to BINGO employees, in addition to safe handling of waste.
“It relates back to standards and the importance of doing your due diligence when it comes to inspection,” Shadi says.
Shadi says that ultimately the courses are relevant to anyone in the waste sector and he is proud of BINGO’s commitment to professional development. He says that BINGO Industries will continue to undertake Academy Green courses as part of the company’s education and training.
“There’s a lot of customisation to suit our onsite requirements, which is great,” he says.
Ardil Domingo, General Manager at Academy Green Learning, says there has been an increasing focus from the waste sector on nationally certified training. Over the past few years, Academy Green Learning has had a noticeable increase in enquiries and, in turn, enrolments into these qualifications.
The courses are primarily offered in-person in NSW where Academy Green Learning is based but offered online in other states.
Ardil says the course is provided under the Federal Government’s traineeship program which offers employer incentives for eligible staff.
“There aren’t many nationally recognised qualifications apart from those offered by Academy Green Learning,” he says.
The Certificate III in Waste Management (CPP30719) is suited to those engaged in waste management who undertake collection and processing across government and the private sector.
Ardil says the Certificate III is relevant to someone new to the industry who could be involved in machine operations and waste.
The course consists of four core units and eight elective units with core units focusing on waste identification and segregation, identifying and responding to hazards and emergencies and following WHS procedures.
“One of the most important aspects of the course is the safety units. Recycling plants are operating big machines and there can be a number of hazards in the form of smell and health,” Ardil says.
Electives cover an array of topics such as complying with environment protection requirements, maintaining storage areas, operating compost processing plant, machinery and equipment and applying awareness of dangerous goods and hazardous materials requirements.
Ardil says that the Certificate IV is suited to someone of high-level experience and in a managerial or supervisory position.
“It covers anything from conducting audits and management plans to assisting with tenders.”
The Certificate IV in Waste Management covers those in waste collection, processing, minimisation and recovery operations in supervisory, leadership or sales roles. The waste operations being targeted are similar to that of the Certificate III.
Individuals operating in waste management specification roles apply solutions to a defined range of predictable and unpredictable problems and provide leadership and guidance to others.
The core units are implementing and applying sustainable work practices, applying knowledge of WHS laws in the workplace and establishing developing and monitoring teams. Similar to the Certificate III, identifying and responding to hazards and emergencies is also covered.
Elective units comprise implementing erosion and sediment control measures, implementing site safety plans, conducting waste audits and a range of other areas to suit the applicant.
Mani says that importantly, the courses are fun, encourage active participation and are an open platform to share knowledge and experience.
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A partnership between Transport Waste Solutions Australia and Axtec is helping waste and transport companies meet their Chain of Responsibility obligations.
When new Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws came into effect last year, weighing systems and software supplier Transport Waste Solutions Australia (TWS) formed a strategic partnership with axle weighing and load monitoring specialist Axtec.
Chris Coleman, TWS Project Manager, says that by installing Axtec products, TWS can help waste companies meet CoR obligations through accurate weighing that reduces axle overloads risk.
“CoR ensures everyone in the supply chains shares compliance responsibility, meaning it’s a shared interest to ensure all vehicles leaving waste depots comply with legislation,” Chris says.
He adds that Axtec products facilitate this compliance by providing reliable vehicle load information in real-time while waste collectors perform their day-to-day operations.
“Axtec has been operating in the weighing space since 1991 and that experience allows it to consistently develop quality products that ensure maximum return on every truck journey without risking overloads,” Chris says.
According to Chris, Axtec’s first product was a dynamic axle weighbridge, which transport and waste management companies use to charge dropoffs by weight.
“As the weighbridge is certified for commercial, public and enforcement use, a number of government agencies responsible for enforcing CoR have installed their own weighbridge as a monitoring device,” Chris says.
The Axtec dynamic weighbridge automatically weighs all vehicles entering the premises, including those with abnormal loads, and determines both individual axle and gross vehicle loads.
“A six-axle articulated lorry can be weighed in under 40 seconds, so it’s great for maintaining streamlined processes and enhancing efficiency,” Chris says.
Following the dynamic axle weighbridge, Chris says Axtec continued to innovate, introducing the onboard axle load indicator in 2007. He adds that the system provides real-time weighing information to drivers of waste vehicles from 3.5-tonne van-based derivatives through to 26-tonne and 32-tonne rigids.
“Axtec OnBoard provides the driver with information on axle and gross vehicle loads via a very simple, easy-to-read, colour-coded bar graph display,” Chris says.
“Visual and audible warnings can prompt the driver when overloads are present, while load data is simultaneously written to the built-in logger and transmitted to a tracker system.”
Chris adds that the colour touchscreen automatically displays images from rear-view or side-mounted cameras, and can be set to dim when the vehicle is in motion.
“All of these functions take place with absolutely no input from the driver, so there are no unnecessary distractions,” he says.
“Since May 2018, TWS has installed and calibrated over 30 units for customers from large waste organisations to state government utilities and local government.”
Transport & Waste Solutions Australia’s National Measurement Institute certified systems are supporting a push towards increased safety in the waste collection industry.
With one month to go until the new Chain of Responsibility changes kick in, Waste Management Review speaks to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator about what it means for the waste sector.
Reforms to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws will be implemented from 1 October, with timing for the changes confirmed by Queensland Transport and Main Road Minister, Mark Bailey.
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the start date for the reforms follows lengthy consultation and information for heavy vehicle businesses over the past 18 months.
“The NHVR has been engaging with many of the 165,000 businesses which make up the heavy vehicle supply chain, and conducted more than 100 workshops,” said Petroccitto.
“October 1 provides the additional time that some sectors were asking for to prepare for the changes, particularly the agricultural sector.
“This change to CoR laws is a significant leap forward in recognising everyone in the heavy vehicle supply chain has a role to play in ensuring safety.
“The reforms complement national workplace safety laws, and place a positive duty-of-care on supply chain parties.
“Duty holders who assess their risks and manage them will be complying with both the HVNL and workplace safety law,” he said.
The NHVR has information available including CoR Gap Assessment tools, role-specific fact sheets, Safety Management System templates and tools, and videos and podcasts
NSW police, government authorities and the waste industry have met to discuss their concerns on the issue of interstate waste transportation.
NSW Police, EPA NSW, SafeWork NSW, Stay Safe Committee and waste industry representatives attended a dedicated forum last week, facilitated by the Waste Contractors & Recyclers Association of NSW (WCRA).
The forum focused on the environmental and safety risks of waste transport from NSW to south-east Queensland, which has long been linked by industry representatives to the lack of a landfill levy in Queensland.
Convenor Dr Tony Wilkins stated that the industry is seeking to work with government to promptly find solutions to the issue.
The forum heard that the volume of waste being transported north by a combination of road and rail has now exceeded in excess of a one million tonnes per annum. The economic loss to NSW from unpaid waste levies exceeds $120 million per annum, WCRA highlighted.
Chief Inspector Phil Brooks from NSW Police stated in his presentation that the large volume of heavy vehicle truck movements, combined with police observations of fatigued drivers and poorly maintained truck and trailers, confirmed there is potential for even more serious accidents.
The forum resolved that all attendees write to the NSW Premier expressing their concerns and that WCRA would write to the NSW EPA requesting that it hold a second forum by 1 March, 2018. WCRA also committed to increase its promotion of Chain of Responsibility training across the industry.
The forum argued the NSW Government should be exploring further measures to curb the complex issue.
Some suggestions included: licensing waste transporters and waste by transfer facilities, regulating minimum environmental and safety standards on equipment used to transport waste over long distances, and banning waste levy rebates for exhuming landfilled waste and rebates for landfills that operate as de-facto transfer stations without development approval.
TruckSafe-accredited operators should be well positioned to meet changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws, according to TruckSafe Chair, Ferdie Kroon, of the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) safety management program.
The reforms are scheduled to come into force in mid-2018, and will align chain of responsibility laws more closely with workplace health and safety laws. They include a new general safety duty and the extension of chain of responsibility to vehicle maintenance.
The TruckSafe board has met to look at how the reforms would affect the TruckSafe standards.
“The board has reviewed the new Chain of Responsibility provisions and the consultation draft of the master registered code of practice being developed by the ATA and Australian Logistics Council,” Mr Kroon said.
“We worked through the provisions in detail, and the good news is that TruckSafe accredited operators are well positioned to meet the new requirements of the law and the draft master code.
“Our operators worked very hard in 2016 to upgrade their safety management systems to meet the new standards, which came into force on 1 January 2017,” he said.
Kroon also said accredited operators now have controls in place, such as business practices, training, procedures and review processes that will help them:
• Identify, assess, evaluate, and control risk.
• Manage compliance with speed, fatigue, mass, dimension, loading and vehicle standards requirements.
• Meet regular reporting requirements.
• Document or record actions taken to manage safety.
“All the hard work last year will pay off for operators in 2018,” said Kroon.
TruckSafe will advise operators of any changes to the TruckSafe standards well before the chain of responsibility reforms come into effect.