Asbestos in Schools – Update

We have previously reported on asbestos in schools and how, although many people think this is a thing of the past, it is still a problem. Asbestos management in schools is an extremely important issue and needs to be dealt with adequately.

A recent publication from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has shown that a number of schools are not managing asbestos properly. The HSE visited 150 schools, of these, 30 had enforcement action taken against them due to failures in their asbestos management. Action had also been taken against two schools where asbestos debris had been found and there had been potential disturbances of asbestos.

There have been a further 70 breaches where school owners and governors have failed to ensure the health and safety of staff and pupils and 74 breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations where asbestos was not identified, staff were not trained and asbestos management plans were not put in place.

The Government policy for asbestos in schools is to leave the asbestos in place and for it to be managed for the remaining life of the buildings. However these figures show that schools show that this policy is not working. Schools are not managing asbestos adequately and ultimately staff and pupils will be the ones to suffer.