Unit of competency details

PRMWM44B - Identify wastes and hazards (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 30/Mar/2009

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CPPWMT3044A - Identify wastes and hazardsUnit updated and equivalent to PRMWM44B Identify wastes and hazards 09/Jan/2012

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 039901 Environmental Engineering  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 039901 Environmental Engineering  06/May/2004 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit of competency covers the identification of a range of wastes and potential risks and hazards that may be present in the work environment.

Application of the Unit

Not Applicable

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1 Identify wastes

1.1 Identify characteristics of wastes 

1.2 Differentiate types of wastes by waste stream 

1.3 Identify dangerous and hazardous wastes

1.4 Identify contaminants present in waste

1.5 Obtain further information on waste by questioning appropriate personnel to ensure correct identification

2 Identify hazards

2.1 Identify potential risks and hazards  present in work environment

Required Skills and Knowledge

Refer to Evidence Guide

Evidence Guide


Critical aspects of competency 

  • Ability to correctly identify a range of waste streams, hazardous wastes and waste contaminants.
  • Ability to identify a range of potential risks and hazards present in the work environment.

Knowledge needed to achieve the performance criteria 

Knowledge and understanding are essential to apply this unit in the workplace, to transfer the skills to other contexts, and to deal with unplanned events. The knowledge requirements for this unit are listed below.

  • Waste types, streams and characteristics.
  • Waste contaminants.
  • Potential risks and hazards.
  • Occupational health and safety requirements.
  • Relevant environmental regulations.
  • OHS hierarchy of control.

Specific skills needed to achieve the performance criteria 

To achieve the performance criteria, some complementary skills are required. These are:

  • communication including following instructions
  • reading and interpreting work requirements
  • identification of waste types
  • identification of waste contamination
  • hazard identification
  • safe and efficient work practices
  • use of emergency and personal protective equipment
  • following MSDS.

Resources required to assess this unit 

The following resources should be available:

  • range of waste types/streams for identification
  • OHS requirements
  • personal protective equipment
  • work environment in which to identify range of potential risks and hazards.

Gaining evidence to assess this unit 

For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, the competency should be demonstrated over a period of time and be observed by the assessor (or assessment team working together to conduct the assessment). The competency is to be demonstrated in a range of situations, which may include customer/workplace interruptions and involvement in related activities normally experienced in the workplace.

Evidence of competency is best obtained by observing activities in the field and reviewing the identification of wastes and hazards. If this is not practicable, observations in realistic simulated environments may be substituted.

Consistency in performance 

Assessment requires that strategies meet the objectives of clients and comply with industry expectations in the particular client environment. If the environment is narrowly defined or is not representative of industry needs, it will be necessary to assess the unit within a variety of waste management environments or different client needs to assess competency in the identification of wastes and hazards.

Oral questioning or written assessment and hypothetical situations (scenarios) may be used to assess underpinning knowledge. (In assessment situations where the candidate is offered a preference between oral questioning and written audit, questions are to be identical.)

Supplementary evidence may be obtained from relevant authenticated correspondence from existing supervisors, team leaders or specialist training staff.

Note: All practical demonstrations must adhere to the safety and environmental regulations relevant to each state or territory.

Key competency levels 

There are a number of processes that are learnt throughout work and life that are required in all jobs. They are fundamental processes and generally transferable to other work functions. Some of these are covered by the key competencies, although others may be added.

Information below highlights how these processes are applied in this competency standard.

Perform the process

Perform and administer the process

Perform, administer and design the process

How can communication of ideas and information  be applied?

Discuss with colleagues, clients and relevant personnel all aspects of wastes and hazards.

How can information be collected , analysed and organised ?

Gather and analyse information from a number of sources (including relevant legislation and company requirements to identify wastes and possible hazards.

How are activities planned and organised ?

Plan and organise meetings and communicate opportunities with colleagues to discuss waste identification and hazards.

How can teamwork  be applied?

Work cooperatively with colleagues to identify wastes and hazards.

How can the use of mathematical ideas and techniques  be applied?

Use relevant numerical calculations accurately.

How can problem-solving skills  be applied?

Identify and solve risk elements in the waste and hazard identification process.

How can the use of technology  be applied?

Demonstrate understanding of technological principles and physical skills to use appropriate equipment.

Range Statement


The range statement links the required knowledge and organisational and technical requirements to the workplace context. It describes any contextual variables that will be used or encountered when applying the competency in work situations. It allows for different work practices and work and knowledge requirements as well as for differences between organisations and workplaces. The following variables may be present for this particular unit.

Characteristics of wastes  include but are not limited to:

  • containment
  • density
  • hazard
  • level of contamination
  • quality
  • shape
  • size
  • volume
  • weight.

Contamination  may include inferior quality and unacceptable waste streams.

Emergency and personal protective equipment  must include:

  • appropriate footwear
  • communications equipment
  • eye protection
  • eyewash kit
  • fire extinguishers
  • First Aid kit
  • gloves
  • overalls and protective clothing.

Emergency and personal protective equipment  could also include:

  • breathing apparatus
  • containment devices such as booms
  • emergency procedure guides
  • face shield/mask
  • hard hat
  • hearing protection
  • material safety data sheets (MSDS)
  • oil absorbent materials
  • spill kit.

Performance of this unit  is carried out in accordance with relevant requirements of the following:

  • Australian Standards
  • environmental regulations
  • legislative requirements
  • manufacturers' specifications
  • organisational procedures
  • relevant state/territory regulations.

Potential risks and hazards  are those risks and hazards identified by the organisation that could lead to injury or illness of employees, contractors, visitors or the public; damage to plant, vehicles or property; or that could cause harm to the environment.

This relates to on-site and off-site activities (whether company owned or occupied premises, customer/client premises or public property) over which it could be expected the organisation had control.

Relevant legislation and codes  cover state and federal:

  • duty of care
  • industry codes of conduct
  • occupational health and safety
  • Australian Standards
  • environmental protection legislation.

Waste streams  include:

  • construction and demolition
  • dangerous goods
  • green waste
  • hazardous substances
  • municipal waste
  • oil
  • putrescibles
  • recyclables
  • solid inert.

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

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