Deadly Asbestos Still Found in Schools
Exposure to Asbestos fibres has long been known to cause health related problems. Around 5000 workers die from diseases caused by the material every year. Many public buildings including schools still have materials containing asbestos within them.
In September 2016, Liverpool City Council revealed that 51 schools, more than half of the schools in the area, are thought to contain asbestos.
The council have spent £74,820.60 on removing asbestos from schools since September 2013. However, this cost doesn’t include what the schools have had to pay for the direct removal of asbestos or what the schools have paid contractors for the work carried out.
A Liverpool city council member said “The clear advice from health and safety experts is that asbestos is better left encapsulated if it is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed, and that the risk is managed. Proactively removing asbestos potentially creates more risks.
When work is being carried out that may disturb asbestos there is always a comprehensive survey conducted to manage the risk, and if it does become a risk its removal is treated as a priority and by suitably qualified experts.
Schools manage their asbestos risk individually, and our own schools are audited on it every three years.”
Further down south in Kent, the county council confirmed there are 344 schools which could potentially contain the deadly life threatening substance. These could include anything from primary/secondary schools to sixth forms.
Asbestos related claims against the council have resulted in pay-outs totalling £842,958.
Brian Robinson, a solicitor in asbestos related conditions: “Asbestos has been lurking our schools for decades, the teaching profession has suffered massively. Many former teachers have been diagnosed with an Asbestos related condition. Some of the conditions Asbestos can cause are very severe and unfortunately we have many clients whose lives have been cut short from diseases such as Mesothelioma and Asbestosis. Even though schools should be seen as a safe place, there still remains a harmful deadly material which will kill, the local authorities and schools have a duty to their employees and pupils safely manage asbestos in their buildings to reduce the risk of fatalities.”
The council carries out an asbestos management surveys every three years on which samples of asbestos containing material are recorded and sent away for further analysis.
The council member for a Kent Council said: “All details are recorded in the asbestos survey report that becomes the site management plan that is delivered to the school.
On receipt of the site management plan the schools are then responsible for managing their own site for the next three years and this includes updating the management plan to reflect any changes.
The management plans are required to be available to any contractor that visits the school to enable both the contractor and the school to take the appropriate action and safety precautions when planning and carrying out work on the premises.”
Asbestos Management Plans
Both councils have Asbestos management plans in place to monitor asbestos in schools on their asbestos register. They provide schools with a three year management plan to get rid or reduce the amount of asbestos containing materials on their premises.
Each material they disturb or move has to be recorded on their register and done by a qualified expert. It is each schools responsibility to manage the asbestos on their premises.
Contact us and further information
Roberts Jackson Solicitors are experts in dealing with asbestosis and mesothelioma cases with a team of solicitors and fee earners, who have a vast amount of experience. If you would like to see if you are eligible to make a claim for a condition caused by asbestos exposure please feel free to get in touch using our Freephone number 0800 001 4496 or alternatively you can fill one of our contact forms found on the right hand side of this page. We provide a No Win No Fee service, one of our advisors will call you back at a time convenient for you.