Results Summary

General Section

There is a high level of awareness of asbestos and asbestos related issues in the Latrobe Valley. The two most highly rated concerns regarding asbestos are the health impacts and the illegal dumping of asbestos.

Nearly two in three (65%) have known someone who has died or whose health has been affected as a result of asbestos exposure.

The vast majority (95%) have undertaken home renovations, with 68% reporting they had renovated properties built before 1990, when use of asbestos containing materials was still common.

While awareness of asbestos related issues is high, 39% claim they are able to identify materials that may contain asbestos, but only 29% have received any formal training.


DIY Home renovator section

The DIY home renovators section of the survey revealed that 67% have undertaken home renovations in the past three years, and just over half (56%) reported that a risk to asbestos exposure was undertaken on properties built prior to 1990.

Of concern is the 36% who undertook a risk of asbestos exposure assessment themselves, without engaging professionals. Only 13% had received formal training in the safe handling and disposal of asbestos.

Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) DIY home renovators went on to remove asbestos themselves. The majority (57%) who removed asbestos themselves state that it is because they believe they have the skills/knowledge to do so.

Two out of five (43%) reported that they were likely to do renovation work in the next 12 months, and of these:

  • 11% have had formal training
  • 28% have accessed information on safe asbestos removal prior to removal and disposal
  • 33% reported to use 'their own common sense' when it came to asbestos removal and disposal.

Background

Overview

The Latrobe Valley Asbestos Taskforce was established by the Victorian Government in 2019 to review how asbestos is managed in the Latrobe Valley.

Part of the activities of the taskforce include understanding and listening to the community, as well as increasing awareness about asbestos.

This survey is the first in a series that will be repeated each year, to measure awareness levels and attitudes towards asbestos.


Survey questions

Section 1

1. When was the last time you saw or heard any messages about the dangers of asbestos exposure? Required
2. How informed do you feel about asbestos and its related dangers? Required
3. How important is it for you to know about asbestos and its related dangers? Required
4. How would you rate your own knowledge of the dangers associated with exposure to asbestos? Required
5. How confident are you in your own ability to identify materials that may contain asbestos? Required
6. How confident are you in your own ability to identify situations where you or others may be at risk of exposure to asbestos? Required
7. Have you had any formal training in relation to asbestos and how it needs to be managed in any building renovation or demolition work? Required
8. If you answered Yes to the question above, who delivered this training?

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR LEVEL OF AGREEMENT WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:

9a. Asbestos only poses a danger if disturbed (e.g. as part of a building demolition activity) Required
9b. I would pay for specialist advice if I was unsure something contained asbestos Required
9c. Asbestos is not a major concern for me Required
9d. Even a small exposure to asbestos can be very dangerous Required
9e. Asbestos is very common in Australian buildings Required
9f. Anyone doing renovations needs to be very mindful of asbestos Required

YOUR HOME

10. Imagine you need to renovate the bathroom or kitchen in your own home. Which of the following best describes how you would approach this? Required
11. Which of the following best describes you? Required
12. In terms of any home renovation / DIY work you have undertaken, roughly how old are the properties you have worked on? Required

You may select more than one answer

INFORMATION SOURCES

13. If you wanted information on asbestos and its related dangers, where would you go for this? Required
14. Have you heard of the Latrobe Valley Asbestos Taskforce? Required

ASBESTOS IN THE LATROBE VALLEY

15. What concerns you the most about asbestos in the Latrobe Valley? Required

You may select more than one answer

16. Have you known someone from the Latrobe Valley who has died or whose health has been affected as a result of asbestos exposure?

DEMOGRAPHICS

18. Your gender Required
19. Do you live in or have you ever lived in the Latrobe Valley? Required
20. Do you work in or have you ever worked in the Latrobe Valley? Required
21. What is your main source of income? Required
22. Are you an apprentice in the Latrobe Valley? Required

(please specify)

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24. How did you find out about this survey? Required

(please specify)

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OTHER

(free text answer)

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Section 2. Home Renovators

Over the past 3 years, have you ever undertaken any of the following to a residence built or renovated between 1940 and 1990:

1a. Renovation work that involved knocking down either internal or external walls?
1b. A bathroom renovation, including the removal of existing fittings, fixtures, wall tiles / splashbacks and/or flooring? Required
1c. A kitchen renovation, including the removal of existing fittings, fixtures, wall tiles / splashbacks and/or flooring? Required
1d. Demolition of any external buildings (e.g. outhouses, sheds, fencing or other buildings)? Required
2. If you answered Yes to any of the above, which of the following best describes how the work was undertaken? If you answered No, go straight to Question 8.
3. Prior to undertaking any of the work, was any assessment of the planned work undertaken to determine the risk of exposure to asbestos?
4. If the planned work was assessed, who undertook that assessment?
5. Did asbestos need to be removed as part of the renovation/construction or demolition process?
If you answered No to question 5 above, please go straight to question 8.
6. Which of the following best describes how the asbestos was removed and disposed of?
7. If you removed and disposed of the asbestos yourself, what was the main reason for doing this? Required
8. Which of the following best describes you? Required

FUTURE RENOVATIONS

Over the next 12 months, are you likely to undertake any of the following to a residence built or renovated between 1940 and 1990?

9a. Renovation work that involves knocking down either internal or external walls? Required
9b. A bathroom renovation, including the removal of existing fittings, fixtures, wall tiles/splashbacks and/or flooring? Required
9c. A kitchen renovation, including the removal of existing fittings, fixtures, wall tiles/splashbacks and/or flooring? Required
9d. Demolition of any external buildings (e.g. outhouses, sheds, fencing or other buildings)? Required

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statements:

10a. I know what to do if asbestos is identified on a building, renovation or demolition site Required
10b. Asbestos removal must be undertaken by licensed specialists in this field Required
10c. I know how to protect myself from exposure to asbestos Required
10d. I take asbestos and its dangers very seriously Required
10e. When preparing for any renovation project, asbestos is a key consideration Required
10f. I have enough information about asbestos to make informed decisions when doing any renovation work Required
10g. I have sufficient knowledge about how to identify and manage asbestos on the job site Required
10h. I am concerned about potentially being exposed to asbestos Required

OTHER

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The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

The questions in this survey have been based on a national benchmark survey undertaken by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency with permission. Visit https://www.asbestossafety.gov.au for further information.