Asbestos is a mineral that has exceptional properties hence why it was used commercially in the UK for over a hundred years until November 1999. Asbestos fibres were added to building materials which were used in the construction and refurbishments of many buildings including schools throughout the UK.
Asbestos was finally banned because there is a tragic downside to the exceptional properties that the mineral has – it can cause both cancer and non-cancerous effects when humans are exposed to asbestos fibres.
This is due in part to our widespread use of asbestos insulating board (AIB) as ceiling and wall components. This material contained amosite (brown) asbestos. Amosite belongs in the amphibole group of asbestos which is the most toxic to the human body.
Schools are regarded as special places because they contain children who are more at risk from asbestos exposure than adults. The problem we have in this country with asbestos in schools is that asbestos is present in more than 75% of Britain’s schools, all the asbestos is old and much of it is deteriorating. Over14,000 schools were built during the period 1945-1975 when the use of asbestos was at its height and many of these schools contain asbestos insulating board products.
Britain has the highest level of...
Britain has the highest mesothelioma incidence in the world; the rate is more than twice that of France, Germany or the USA.
More people dying of asbestos than...
Currently in Britain there are more people dying from asbestos related diseases than there are from road accident deaths per year. During the mid 1990’s, these figures were at parity with 3500 deaths a year in each group. Since this time, road deaths have decreased by 45% whereas asbestos deaths have increased by 35% over the same period.
75 Percent of Britain’s Schools…
Asbestos is present in more than 75% of Britain’s schools.
The challenges associated with asbestos in schools
Current HSE guidelines state that, as long as the asbestos is in good condition and not likely to be disturbed, it is better to manage it for the remaining life of a school rather than to remove it. Because of this, most of the asbestos remains in our schools and will have to be managed long into the future.
Although some schools have effective systems of asbestos management in place, many do not. Many schools will have some form of an asbestos register, however many are not kept up to date and accurate. We have found that key people in schools do not know where the register is kept and that contractors are not shown the asbestos registers prior to commencing works.
To add to these issues many schools do not provide their staff with asbestos awareness training, they do not have effective asbestos management plans, there are no clear lines of stated responsibility and poor survey information is common.
Is my school asbestos compliant?
To check if your school is asbestos compliant, download our asbestos in schools compliance check list. Alternatively we offer a complimentary asbestos audit in schools which is undertaken by one of our qualified asbestos consultants.
To book a free asbestos audit contact us today.
I have been most impressed with the quality of paperwork, general communication and the professionalism of Acorn all round.
– Lucy Goldsmith (Asbestos Project Manager)
Reasons to Use Acorn
- Here to help you become asbestos compliant
- Here to identify any gaps within your asbestos compliance procedures
- We are a fully independent UKAS accredited asbestos consultancy
- We provide impartial, best practise advice no matter what we find
Our Core Values
Quality – Implement excellence in everything we do
Integrity – Be honest and truthful
Respect – Treat others how we wish to be treated
Teamwork – Work together for the benefit of the team
Innovation – Innovate to always be leading our industry
To be the obvious choice for asbestos consultancy services in the UK.
Ensuring safety above profit. Keeping quality within the core of everything we do. Guaranteeing speed in the delivery of our services.