In 2014, the agency commissioned a large-scale research project examining the knowledge of Australians at risk of potential exposure to asbestos fibres which found that while most understand the danger, few have the practical skills to identify asbestos products and handle them safely. The results of this survey were released to the public at the first International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management in Melbourne on Monday, 17 November 2014.
The agency engaged Colmar Brunton to conduct the survey of 2362 tradespeople, DIY renovators, real estate agents, landlords and members of the public to uncover their awareness, attitudes and behaviours towards asbestos.
The research revealed only moderate community understanding exists of how prevalent asbestos is in the built environment, with few people confident in their ability to identify asbestos containing materials or situations that could put them at risk of exposure.
The agency will continue to use the findings of this report when developing targeted strategies to increase awareness about the dangers of asbestos and all other projects coming out of the National Strategic Plan.