Getting to grips with Asbestos.

Are schools making the most of the holidays?

As the summer break looms, is your school making the most of the empty buildings on getting to grips with their asbestos management plans?

When we think of where asbestos might be in the UK, we picture garages/farm buildings/office blocks and pre-fab houses. The last place we would think asbestos would be is in schools, where we send millions of our children to everyday, where teachers work everyday. The worrying truth is more than 75% of schools in the UK contain asbestos, but at what risk is it to those who occupy those buildings.

Why should schools manage the risk?

Between 1940’s and 1970’s, more than 14,000 schools were built, and asbestos usage was at it highest. As a result, more than 40 years on between 2009 and 2019, more than 200 UK teachers died from the effects of being exposed to asbestos. It is estimated of this number, that for every teacher fatality, nine ex-pupils can also expect to fall victim to the deadly substance.

Experts say asbestos is a greater health risk as it gets older and starts to degrade. Teachers Unions have called on the government to pay for asbestos to be safely removed from school buildings.

Mesothelioma claims 2,400 lives across the country every year. In 2016 an inquest heard primary school teacher Sue Stephens, 68, died from mesothelioma after teaching at schools in Buckinghamshire. The coroner said she had likely suffered fatal exposure to asbestos during building work at one of them.

How should schools manage the risk?

It is simple: management. Many schools have some form of asbestos register, but many either do not, or they are not kept up to date and accurate.

bSure asbestos surveys include asbestos management plans, register and risk assessments as standard. A management survey will provide an overall review of all ACM in your premises. It’s required to have a re-inspection survey after 12 months.

A refurbishment/demolition survey needs to take place prior to the work being done to ensure nobody on the site or in adjacent areas is at risk of asbestos contamination.

A specified scope survey addresses specific requirements and may only cover a part of the premises to allow work to take place.

bSure Testing Limited can take the hassle and worry out of all your asbestos requirements. Once the initial survey has been completed, we will contact you to inform you the next visit is due and book in from there. We have a full after sales and advice line so if you were to have any questions, we’re only at the end of the phone.