Consultation open for new asbestos guides

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of the Workplace Health and Safety profession. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Monday, 28 March, 2022 - 12:30
Policy & legislation
National News

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is inviting feedback on new guidelines for communicating about asbestos risk, which has been developed by the agency in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders.

The guidelines include principles for producing clear, consistent and complementary communication messages, and they cover both communicating to prevent asbestos exposure and communicating in response to asbestos exposure, and these can involve different communication channels, processes and messages.

It is important that preventive and responsive communications are considered in tandem, as they affect each other and do not operate alone, according to the agency, which said these guidelines are a ‘how to’ for developing effective messages and processes for communicating asbestos risk, in both preventative and responsive situations.

These guidelines are for anyone who has responsibility for communicating about asbestos risk with the public, including federal, state, territory and local government bodies involved in the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of asbestos-related laws; government and non-government organisations who need to respond to asbestos exposure events; unions and worker representatives, and employer representatives; asbestos professionals, specialist advisers and training organisations; asbestos-related disease advocacy and support groups; and medical and health professionals.

The agency is also inviting consultation on the Communicating Asbestos Facts and Figures guide, which is to be read and used in conjunction with the guidelines.

This guide contains statements that are based on established scientific facts; asbestos safety research; researched message testing; and legally accepted authoritative information on the Australian history of asbestos mining, manufacture and use.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 8 April 2022.