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Communications strategy for 2020: Public health focus

The communications strategy for 2020 has focused on public health outcomes and working to meet Priority 1 and Target 1 of NSP 2019–2023.

Specifically, we focused on changing attitudes and behaviours, by providing accurate and timely information about the potential health risks of asbestos-containing materials to workers and the community.

Early in 2020, it became clear that our normal program of events and public-facing stakeholder and community engagement activities would not be possible. We therefore realigned our activities to focus on the digital space and working with targeted cohorts.

This has included producing targeted, comprehensive and nationally consistent asbestos awareness advice and information (Priority 1 strategic action) and producing additional practical information material on asbestos safety in the home, workplace and the environment (Priority 1 strategic action) through better targeting of messaging and communications during national crises and events including natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the COVID-19 response, we were aware of an increase in DIY projects, home repairs and maintenance being initiated. In order to ensure the message of asbestos safety was communicated during this time, we worked with the Asbestos Support Group Network to run a public health communications project to both spread the asbestos safety message online, and also to test different messages for cut through and resonance.

We also worked to establish or maintain trusted sources of asbestos-related information at the national and jurisdictional level (Priority 1 strategic action) by establishing the Asbestos Awareness Committee, with representatives from all jurisdictions and a variety of non-government organisations. The Committee is focused on coordinating national public-health messages and reducing unnecessary duplication by allowing shared campaign and research resources.

Examples of images from the public health communications project, tranche 1 Examples of images from the public health communications project, tranche 1. Image 1 Asbestos lurks in more places than you'd think. House built before the 1990s? Before you rip up the old lino floor: Stop. Think. Get profressional advice. Image 2: House built before the 1990s? Before you take out the old bathroom: Stop. Think. Get profressional advice. Asbestos lursk in more places than you'd think. in walls. within surfaces. under tiles. Image 3: Using the extra time at home to update the bathroom? Asbestos lurks in more places than you'd think. In ceilings. Behind tiles. Within surfaces. Vinly adhesives. Asbestos: do not disturb it, drill it, cut it or break it!Image 4: If you're not wearing all of this you shouldn't be handling asbestos. Don't risk it, call an asbestos professional. Disposable coveralls. Shoe covers. Gloces. Respirator mask. Protective eyewear.