Unit of competency details

PUAFIR316 - Identify, detect and monitor hazardous materials at an incident (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to PUAFIR306 - Identify, detect and monitor hazardous materials at an incident 15/Jul/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to PUAFIR307B - Monitor hazardous atmospheresUnit Title revised. Application of the Unit added. Method of assessment added. 12/Mar/2013

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 02/May/2013
(View details for release 1) 13/Mar/2013


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  03/Oct/2013 
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Modification History


TP Version  



PUA12 V2.1

Editorial changes.


PUA12 V2

New unit.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency required to use specific equipment to detect airborne contaminants, liquids and solids.

This unit replaces PUAFIR307B Monitor hazardous atmospheres.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to personnel required to detect and identify contaminants at a hazardous materials incident using specialist equipment to identify the materials, assess the risk posed by the material identified and formulate a plan for their safe isolation and removal.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


PUAFIR207B Operate breathing apparatus open circuit

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance Criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Assess hazardous materials incident 

1.1 Hazardous materials incident is approached using care and caution and a safe distance is maintained, in accordance with organisational procedures  and/or advice from appropriate authorities

1.2 Hazardous materials are identified  from a safe distance and information is conveyed to the supervisor in accordance with organisational guidelines

1.3 Information sources  are accessed to determine the potential behaviour of hazardous materials , in accordance with organisational guidelines

2. Identify and assess hazards at incident 

2.1 Site hazards  are identified in accordance with organisational guidelines.

2.2 Specific hazards relating to the material/s and container/s are identified in accordance with organisational guidelines.

2.3 Relevant hazard information is incorporated into the detection strategy.

2.4 Hazards are assessed according to organisational guidelines and information is conveyed to supervisor.

3. Develop an entry plan 

3.1 Entry objectives are identified and conveyed to supervisor.

3.2 Entry plan  is developed in accordance with supervisor directives and organisational policies.

3.3 Appropriate detection equipment  is assessed and selected in accordance with organisational policies.

3.4 Personal protective equipment is considered in accordance with organisational policies and response situation. 

3.5 Hazard control zones  are established in accordance with organisational policies.

3.6 Decontamination methods  are identified in accordance with organisational policies.

3.7 Organisations required to assist  with the operation are determined and documented.

3.8 Detection strategy is documented in accordance with organisational policies.

4. Implement entry plan 

4.1 Entry plan is implemented in accordance with organisational policies.

4.2 Detection equipment is prepared for use in accordance with organisational policies.

4.3 Detection equipment is used and maintained in accordance with organisational policies.

4.4 Results are recorded and reported in accordance with organisational policies.

4.5 Upon leaving the area of operations, decontamination procedures are undertaken when required, in accordance with organisational procedures.

5. Review entry plan 

5.1 Entry plan is reviewed and safety of entry team is monitored in accordance with organisational guidelines.

5.2 Contamination incidents are recorded and reported to appropriate personnel in accordance with organisational guidelines.

5.3 Entry is reviewed in accordance with organisational guidelines.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required Skills 

  • analyse and communicate detection results
  • don, operate in, decontaminate and remove personal protective clothing and equipment
  • interpret safety and hazard information
  • use detection equipment

Required Knowledge 

  • asphyixants, which may include simple and chemical, flammable gases and liquids, corrosive gases and liquids
  • conditions under which atmospheres become hazardous
  • dynamics of toxicity, corrosivity, flammability
  • flammable range, upper and lower flammable limits
  • legislation relevant to the organisation
  • odour threshold, exposure standards (time weighted average, short term exposure limits, peak limitation values), immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH), and may include acute exposure guideline levels (AEGL)
  • organisational policies and procedures
  • physical chemistry concepts
  • roles and responsibilities of agencies involved
  • toxic effects on humans exposed to commonly encountered atmospheric contaminants such as reaction products or combustion products or variable oxygen concentrations
  • units of measurement used to express concentration of atmospheric contaminants (mg/cubic m, ppm, %, v/v)

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Assessment must confirm the ability to:

  • implement appropriate organisational standard operating guidelines
  • comply with relevant legislation
  • demonstrate safe working practices
  • interpret hazardous conditions using detection equipment
  • recommend appropriate action
  • maintain monitoring equipment.

Consistency in performance 

Competency should be demonstrated over a range of situations using different types of detection equipment.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Competency should be assessed in environments with detectable but safe levels of contaminants.

Specific resources for assessment 

Access is required to:

  • workplace and/or simulations based on possible incidents
  • range of personal protective clothing and equipment
  • range of detection equipment

Method of assessment 

In a public safety environment assessment is usually conducted via direct observation in a training environment or in the workplace via subject matter supervision and/or mentoring, which is typically recorded in a competency workbook.

Assessment is completed using appropriately qualified assessors who select the most appropriate method of assessment.

Assessment may occur in an operational environment or in an agency-approved simulated work environment. Forms of assessment that are typically used include:

  • direct observation
  • interviewing the candidate
  • journals and workplace documentation
  • third party reports from supervisors
  • written or oral questions

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised  wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

Procedures  must include:

  • government organisational procedures
  • organisational procedures including maintenance
  • work health and safety practices and procedures

and may also include:

  • Australian Standards and manufacturer’s guidelines
  • confined space procedures such as permit entry plan and entry testing procedures
  • dynamic risk assessment and planning procedures

Identification of hazardous materials  must include:

  • HAZMAT information
  • initial information
  • placarding
  • product/trade names
  • site manager
  • visual signs and material indicators

Information sources  must include:

  • chemdata
  • material safety data sheets (MSDSs) or safety data sheets (SDSs)
  • technical specialist

and may also include:

  • electronic databases
  • environment
  • reference texts

Potential behaviour of hazardous materials  must include:

  • corrosivity
  • entry routes of toxins
  • flammability
  • toxicity
  • vapour density
  • vapour pressure

Hazards  must include:

  • chemical, biological, radiological,
  • physical, electrical, mechanical, thermal, visual, environment and dangerous situations
  • pressure vessels and lines

Entry plan  may include:

  • action levels
  • decontamination
  • detection strategy
  • personal protective equipment
  • safe approach entry and exit

Detection equipment  must include:

  • carbon monoxide detector
  • flammable gas detector
  • hydrogen sulphide detector
  • indicator paper
  • oxygen detector

and may also include:

  • air sampling apparatus
  • biological agent detectors
  • chemical agent monitors
  • colourimetric detection tubes
  • field sampling kit
  • flame ionisation detectors and flame photometric detectors
  • fourier transform infrared (ftir) spectrometers
  • hazard categorisation (hazcat) kits
  • ionisation mobility spectrometers
  • photoionisation detectors
  • radiation detectors
  • radiation dosimeters
  • radioisotope identifiers and neutron detectors
  • Raman spectrometers
  • remote air sampling equipment
  • sampling tubes
  • specific electrochemical detectors such as formaldehyde, chlorine

Response situations  may include:

  • confined spaces
  • ducts
  • hazardous waste sites
  • motor vehicle accidents
  • pits and shafts
  • Post fire situations
  • ships
  • simulated hazardous environments
  • storage tanks and silos
  • transport vehicles
  • unknown substance incidents
  • unsound or unsafe structures

Hazard control zones  must include:

  • area of likely contamination (hot zone)
  • area of operations (warm zone)
  • support zone (cold zone)
  • criteria applied to determine the extent of hazardous areas
  • controlled exits, entrances, refuges and emergency exits

Decontamination methods  must include:

  • decontamination plan and corridors
  • types of decontamination as per organisational procedures

Organisations required to assist  may include:

  • ambulance
  • commercial organisations
  • emergency services
  • government departments
  • local government
  • police

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.