To further develop, measure and assess the competency of operatives working within a live asbestos environment, a dummy asbestos enclosure was erected with adjoining three-stage airlocks and bag-locks from tubular scaffold materials. The enclosure was fully sheeted; a viewing panel window was cut out of the sheeting; and prohibitive, mandatory and cautionary safety signage was displayed on the enclosure. Operatives practised entry and exit procedures through the three-stage airlock following prescriptive processes.
Operatives practised manually transporting scaffolding materials in and out of the enclosure, again following procedures detailed in the specific Plan of Work that had been prepared. Operatives erected and dismantled scaffolding whilst in the dummy enclosure. Whilst all operatives were in the enclosure, fire alarms were sounded, talcum powder was used to replicate gross personal asbestos contamination, a person was asked to act out fainting (unbeknown to others at the time).
This was done to simulate what could happen whilst working in such a hazardous environment and the practical steps to take. The simulated training also gave Management a chance to measure the psychological and physical impact such an emergency situation may bring about, giving operatives a real-life feel to what they may encounter. All this was done whilst all operatives were donning Licensed work PPE and RPE.
The simulated training was made as close to real life as possible and gave all more of an understanding of the constricted nature of such work, measured the psychological impact and reactive procedures of operatives whilst continually improving the collective competency level through innovation.