Asbestos in Schools and Colleges

Asbestos in schools and colleges remains a current and relevant problem.

Did you know that out of the 20,400 primary schools and 3,400 secondary schools in the UK, 13,000 were built between 1945 and 1974. These years were significant as they were the boom years for the use of asbestos and asbestos containing materials in buildings. In addition to this many other schools would have been refurbished during or since that time also using asbestos containing materials. As such large amounts of asbestos was indeed used in the construction of our schools in the UK.

Asbestos in schools and colleges

 

Asbestos in schools and colleges was still used right up until asbestos was finally banned in November 1999.

Britain has the highest mesothelioma incidence in the world, at more than twice that of France, Germany or the USA.

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. Whereas road deaths have decreased by 45%, asbestos deaths have increased by 35% over the same period.

“The number of deaths from mesothelioma among school teachers is far higher than one should expect in what appears to be a low risk occupation.”

The HSE have stated in relation to teachers that:

“There are too many deaths among a group which are supposed to have had very little asbestos exposure.”

This is due in part to our widespread use of asbestos insulating board (AIB) as ceiling and wall components which contains 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.

So what are the issues with asbestos in schools and colleges?

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 and colleges 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 and colleges 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.

How do you know if your school or college is asbestos compliant?

To check if your school is asbestos compliant, download our asbestos in schools and colleges compliance check list. Alternatively we offer a free asbestos in schools and college audit which is undertaken by one of our qualified asbestos consultants. To book a free asbestos audit contact us today.

Neil Munro

I work in a dual role at Acorn Analytical Services focused primarily on growing and leading the business from our Northampton office base. My focus is on overseeing all sales, marketing and financial activities from Northampton. I assist clients with high-level asbestos management strategies and training. Together with Ian Stone I host our weekly podcast – Asbestos Knowledge Empire and I'm Co-author of Asbestos The Dark Arts and Fear and Loathing of Health and Safety.

Need Help? Request a Call Back

Request a call back from one of our expert Asbestos Consultants who will help you identify what you need

More Asbestos Articles

An asbestos refurbishment survey in action in Northampton

The importance of an asbestos refurbishment survey

Asbestos has been dubbed as a “silent killer” for years now, although it’s an unfortunate fact that it kills more people every year – through asbestos fibres being inhaled – than people who are in road traffic accidents. It has been banned in Britain since 1999, which means any house built or refurbished prior to … Read more

IMG 0527 Small

Asbestos Causing Delays

Asbestos causing delays once again. The A21 is a busy road linking Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and south east London. Works are currently being carried out on a 2.5 mile stretch to widen the road and improve routes to the coast. Bottlenecks were a regular occurrence close to Pembury and campaigners worked for years to get … Read more

What does asbestos look like

BBC Breakfast Interview Mesothelioma Patient, Trevor Barlow

On the morning of the 20th November 2015, BBC Breakfast News published the story of Trevor Barlow a 71 year old gentleman who had been diagnosed with terminal illness due to exposure to asbestos. The interview has encouraged others to consider the effects of exposure to asbestos and highlights the current government plans to assist … Read more

Acorn Analytical Services Asbestos Solutions commecial photography 150x150 1

Asbestos Priority Risk Assessment

Recognising the potential dangers of asbestos, leads owners to responsibly address any potential concerns about the building products used in the construction of their properties. Regulation 4 Duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises (CAR2012) requires dutyholders to ensure that “the risk of anyone being exposed to these materials is assessed”. This type of risk assessment is … Read more

Asbestos Sample Testing 1

Unusual Uses of Asbestos

Although widely acknowledged as a hazardous building material, there has been a multitude of unusual uses of asbestos throughout its history. Some may have practical foundations, whereas others seem more sublime. This article explores the variety of uses of asbestos throughout the centuries. Beauty Asbestos has previously been used in several health and beauty products … Read more

mesothelioma image

The Potential Lethality of Asbestos

The Potential Lethality of Asbestos. Asbestos is a hazardous material that has a rich history in the UK. It was used regularly in buildings between the 1950s and the late 1990s. Asbestos that is well maintained, not disturbed or damaged is much less of a risk to health. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) reports that … Read more

IMG 0639

What you need to know about Asbestos & CLASP Buildings

Are you aware of the risk relating to Asbestos & CLASP Buildings? CLASP (which stands for Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme) system was a scheme developed in the 1950s through to the 1980s, by English local authorities to devise a method of designing and assembling prefabricated buildings for use in the public sector. CLASP … Read more

DSCF0564 e1431533668372

Acorn Launch New Asbestos Testing Laboratory

We’re pleased to announce the launch of our new asbestos sample testing laboratory. With an extension to scope on our UKAS accreditation we now have a fully operational asbestos laboratory in Northampton (See our location). The purpose fitted laboratory has two asbestos bulk analysis stations with room for two further stations in the future. Our … Read more

school

Asbestos Excluded From Schools Surveys

The Education Funding Agency has recent published the result of the Property Data Survey Programme. A schools survey programme where asbestos was excluded from the information collected. This schools survey programme consisted of a series of high-level surveys of educational establishments in England. The schools surveys were to provide detailed information on the condition of the … Read more

asbestos through a scope

Should you be concerned about asbestos?

Blunt question – Should you bother with asbestos or be concerned about asbestos? Asbestos is an emotive word, it brings some people out in cold sweats and other say it’s all a load of fuss about nothing.  Regardless of your current opinion let’s look at whether you should deal with any asbestos issues you may … Read more