A Freedom of Information request by the Coventry Telegraph has suggested that asbestos is still in more than half of schools in the Coventry area.
All schools must have an asbestos audit or assessment to identify the material within its premises. It must also ensure that any of its workers, including teachers and maintenance workers are made aware of the potential risks involved in working with asbestos, and to ensure that the most vulnerable in our community, our children and students are kept safe. If the asbestos is disturbed or damaged then it could pose a risk to anyone in the vicinity.
Adam Wilson, local Birmingham Lawyer from Slater and Gordon’s Chest & Asbestos Disease Group, reiterates the concerns of the dangers of asbestos within the workplace.
“The presence of asbestos in any work environment is a concern, even more so when children and those who have a responsibility for them are concerned. It is essential that the asbestos is properly identified, managed and where necessary removed as soon as practicable to reduce any potential exposure.
This is a timely reminder of the dangers of asbestos considering the review of the management of asbestos within schools being undertaken by the Department for Education.
Guidance from HSE said: “A large number of schools and other public buildings contain asbestos – often in the fabric of the building.
“Its presence alone should not cause concern provided it is managed properly.
“There are strict legal duties on schools to manage asbestos containing materials.
“Where HSE has undertaken inspections of schools it has found that most have good standards for managing asbestos in their buildings.”
Anyone exposed to asbestos should register this potential exposure as soon as possible. Slater and Gordon maintain a National Asbestos Register and you should contact Dominic Smith on 0161 383 3527 to register same.”
Further, the Health and Safety Executive have a number of resources with regards to the maintenance, removal and disposal of asbestos.