In 1992 three men got together to discuss the requirements of the new version of Australian Standard AS2865 Safe Working in a Confined Space with the plan of developing a training course for workers in these hazardous places.
The three fellows involved were Olaf Onder, Barry Borlase and Con Williams. They represented Victoria University, Protector Safety and Air Check Pty Ltd respectively.
The Standard outlined the requirements of such a course.
A time-table was completed and then the need for a manual dedicated to the course became obvious. After many months of labour it was completed and the first course was held in early 1993 for a group of local council workers.
Since then courses have been held in all states and territories of Australia (except ACT) as well as New Zealand and Papua-New Guinea. The organisations involved include food industry, flour milling, other local councils, cleaning services, RAAF, timber industry, paper industry, electricity generation, metal ore refining, newsprint mills, state government bodies, aluminium smelting, oil refining, transport industry, building industry, water industry, chemical manufacturing, motor vehicle production, motor vehicle component manufacturing, defence production, cement production, confectionery manufacturing, crematoria, aviation industry and research organisations.
As AS2865 was renewed every few years refresher courses were developed and presented.
The number of personnel trained has been calculated in the thousands.