The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Asbestos Management in Schools Inspections - Results Released

27 June 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970
 
The Health and Safety Executive has published the results of its latest asbestos in schools inspection initiative, which took place in 2013/14.

The HSE inspected a carefully selected random sample of 153 non-local authority schools between April 2013 and January 2014, which included independent, voluntary aided and foundation schools, free schools and academies.

The majority of schools inspected (71%) required either no further action, or were given straightforward, simple advice. However, 29% (44 schools) received written advice from HSE, and 13% (20 schools) were subject to enforcement action, in the form of improvement notices.

The improvement notices set out a requirement for recipient schools to improve arrangements for managing asbestos. Enforcement action was taken over failures, e.g. training staff and producing written management plans – not because staff or pupils were considered at significant risk of exposure, but because these are ‘vital elements’ of the required control measures.

Compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations in England, Scotland and Wales showed an overall improvement compared with that found in a similar survey and inspection programme of 164 schools outside local authority control in 2010/11 where 41 improvement notices were served on 28 schools.

The inspections revealed a number of common themes in those cases where schools were falling short of the requirements. HSE has published its findings to help share more widely what can be learned from them. 

All schools must ensure they have up to date records of asbestos containing materials in their school; this is to make sure that the school knows the location of any asbestos containing materials that could be damaged or disturbed by normal activities, by foreseeable maintenance, or when installing new equipment.

Training is essential for maintenance staff whose work could possibly expose them to asbestos and every school needs a robust system to alert anyone who may disturb asbestos at the school. The key group of personnel at risk from asbestos is tradespeople, particularly those undertaking maintenance activities. It is seen as vital that schools ensure that anyone who may disturb asbestos is made aware of its location and condition.

Asbestos which is in good condition and remains undamaged and undisturbed does not pose any significant risk to health, if it is managed in compliance with the legal requirements and according to HSE’s published guidance.

“Over the last few years there has been a lot of work by stakeholders across the school sector to raise awareness of the duty to manage asbestos,” explained Geoff Cox, Head of HSE’s Public Services Sector. “That said, schools should not be under any illusion – managing asbestos requires constant attention. Schools now have access to a wealth of guidance setting out clear and straightforward steps to achieve and maintain compliance. Where duty holders fall below acceptable standards, HSE has taken, and will continue to take, enforcement action.”

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 27 June 2014

Share


Related Tags


Related Articles

58% Of Schools Across Greater Manchester Contain Asbestos

A Freedom of Information Request has revealed that schools across the UK are riddled with asbestos with no plans to remove it. The request was made by JMW Solicitors....

 Read Full Article
Schools Campaign Highlights Asbestos Dangers

Risk management and occupational safety company Lucion Services has launched a new campaign to highlight the hazards of asbestos containing materials in schools. The...

 Read Full Article
UKNAR Seeks Investment to Develop Asbestos Smart Technology 

The UK National Asbestos Register is to raise £275,000 to develop its asbestos smart technology to better alert and inform people about the...

 Read Full Article
Smart Ventilation System Given Passivhaus Certification

SAV Systems' AirMaster AM 1000, a mechanical ventilation unit, has been awarded Passivhaus Component certification. The flagship AM 1000 is the first...

 Read Full Article
Mitie and Essex Council Cut Schools' Carbon with Solar

Mitie Communities has worked with Essex County Council to manage the installation of roof-mounted solar panels at 15 schools across the county.  The new panels...

 Read Full Article
Pioneering Sustainable Design – Norway’s Eco School

A primary school in Norway is the latest example of a revolutionary technology that uses agricultural by-products and softwood to create sustainable building...

 Read Full Article
School Cleaners Win Wage Increase and Sick Pay After Strike

Outsourced cleaners at La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School are celebrating what their trade union has described as a “historic victory” after...

 Read Full Article
Schools Reopening – Dealing With COVID Testing Waste

As the roadmap to returning all pupils to schools and colleges begin this week, what do FMs working in education need to consider regarding COVID testing and the...

 Read Full Article
School Cleaners to Strike Against “Wage Theft” and Racism

Outsourced cleaners at La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School are to strike for 40 days regarding “unlawful wage deductions” and alleged...

 Read Full Article
School Closures – How Effective Are School’s COVID Safety Measures?

With schools now closed until at least 8 March, what safety measures must schools take to support their reopening? Schools in England will now be closed to all but...

 Read Full Article