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

National Mesothelioma Awareness Day c5810986 e1632385966395

Raising awareness about mesothelioma

This Sunday, Americans, their federal departments and agencies and their media are being called upon to observe the annual US National Mesothelioma Awareness Day with ceremonies and activities. Back in 2010, September 26 was earmarked by the US Congress as a special day to raise the American public’s awareness about mesothelioma and to encourage all … Read more

worker 6544391 1920 e1631783205514

UK house builder becomes first to divert asbestos away from landfill

We’ve heard some fantastic news about asbestos in the UK during the past few days. Leading developer Lovell has become the first UK house builder to actively tackle the challenge of asbestos waste. The firm is collaborating with Wolverhampton-based Thermal Recycling to safely package and convert asbestos waste into a safe and reusable cement substitute. … Read more

road sign 4244285 1920 e1631178843233

Asbestos causes a headache for constructor and neighbouring businesses

Asbestos hit the headlines once again this week when it brought a construction project grinding to a halt, closed off a town centre road and disrupted nearby businesses. The Stoke Sentinel has published an article sharing the frustrations of businesses in Piccadilly Arcade in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, who were unable to access their parking spaces or … Read more

surgery 3034071 1920 e1630572942721

Looking after asbestos will help us all breathe more easily

Many people have lives filled with work and family and 101 other activities that take up our days. So, today we’d like you to do something for us – just pause for a second and take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Did you manage to do it? The average person takes … Read more

Acorn Samples 6 e1629960810872

Concerns raised about asbestos on British beach

Most of us love a seaside holiday but sadly one of Britain’s beaches hit the headlines last week for all the wrong reasons. You may remember that back in May we ran a blog on ‘Are holidaymakers in danger of finding asbestos on beaches?’ which highlighted a number of British beaches where asbestos had been … Read more

Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res 49 e1629361953760

Acorn receives the backing of major organisations

At Acorn Analytical Services we are very proud of the wide range of asbestos management and training services that we provide. We are proud to say we’re a fully independent and impartial company and that clients can be confident that the results and recommendations they receive from us will always be in their best interests. … Read more

building plan 354233 1920 e1628755740921

Will planning reform put more people at risk from asbestos?

There have been lots of concerns raised in the national press recently about new planning reforms which mean a wider range of commercial properties can now be converted into flats. The reforms came into force at the beginning of this month in a bid to regenerate city centres which have struggled during the pandemic. However, … Read more

Jake 2 social media e1628158451908

Focus on Asbestos Analyst Jake Newell

At Acorn Analytical Services we are committed to developing the next generation of asbestos consultants. We invest a lot of time and money into training our staff because asbestos will remain in many of the UK’s buildings for the foreseeable future and it needs to be managed properly to protect people’s lives. Earlier this year … Read more

malham cove 2451405 1920 e1627545202532

Acorn is proud of its Yorkshire roots

Did you know that this Sunday is recognised in the UK as Yorkshire Day? The annual event originally began as a military holiday but today it has grown into a celebration for everyone to enjoy and is designed to encourage people to spend time in one of our most beautiful counties. Anyone who is familiar with Acorn Analytical Services will know that we have a thriving … Read more

Acorn Jan 2020 Low Res 88 e1626943239246

Latest figures released for deaths from asbestos-related cancer

This month the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its Mesothelioma statistics for Great Britain, 2021 report. The report reveals the number of deaths attributed to the asbestos-related cancer during 2019 and makes for interesting reading. Mesothelioma has a strong association with exposure to asbestos and current evidence suggests around 85% of all male … Read more