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Asbestos compliance checks in schools show 17% failure rate

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Asbestos compliance checks in schools show 17% failure rate

Asbestos compliance checks which were carried out between November 2010 and June 2011 show that 17% of schools have not implemented adequate asbestos management. The compliance checks were carried out at 164 voluntary aided and foundation schools and also academies. The 17% failure shows that 28 out of the 164 schools had inadequate management plans, however, another 110 schools received formal advice on how there was room for improvement with regards to their management plans. Enforcement action taken against the 28 schools was not due to the danger of exposure for teachers and pupils, it was the failure to provide adequate training to staff and also not being able to produce and show inspectors management plans, which caused these failings. Head of HSE’s public services sector, Geoff Cox said: “Most schools were able to demonstrate good levels of awareness and compliance with the asbestos regulations and that’s encouraging, but this inspection initiative did highlight that there is still confusion in some schools over roles and responsibilities.” Compliance with the control of asbestos Regulations (2006) in England, Scotland and Wales was broadly similar to that found in a survey and inspection program involving local authority controlled schools in 2009-10. The HSE went onto say: “We took action where schools had fallen below acceptable standards and we are working across the education sector to raise awareness and find ways to make it clearer for schools to understand their legal responsibilities. It is important to stress that asbestos which is properly managed, remains undamaged and is not disturbed is not a cause for concern. Those most at risk of disturbing asbestos are tradesmen or general maintenance workers so it is essential they know where asbestos is and that there work is carefully planned and managed.” The HSE have not said that they experienced any schools to be in an unstable position with asbestos management and exposure, according to the HSE asbestos which is in a good condition and remains undamaged will not pose as any significant threat to health. Asbestos which is in a good condition should not become a significant risk if it is handled by a licensed contractor in compliance with the legal requirements.

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