Global Environmental has started 2015 with an asbestos management awareness campaign aimed at schools, reminding head teachers of their responsibilities when it comes to assessments and management plans for asbestos in their school buildings.
Asbestos management should be an ongoing process for the head of a school yet a 2013/2014 HSE inspection of 153 non-local authority schools resulted in 44 of them being sent written advice on improving their asbestos management. Of those 44 twenty were issued with improvement notices that highlighted a lack of a management plan, inadequate assessments or inadequate training and information for employees.
Global’s campaign highlights the importance of appointing an experienced asbestos consultant who can assess the current standard of management and give guidance on necessary improvements. Global Environmental has the skills and resources to help dutyholders, developers and contractors to discharge their duties under the Control of Asbestos Regulations and the Construction, Design and Management Regulations.
They will arrange a survey of the school to identify any asbestos containing material, assess the condition and risk and recommend a course of action. A management plan can then be prepared and implemented.
Current government policy, based on HSE advice, is for asbestos “which is in good condition and remains undamaged and undisturbed” to be left in situ and managed by the school. However, in the past decade there has been a growing campaign, led by the Asbestos in Schools group as well as the Joint Union Asbestos Committee, for the phased removal of all asbestos materials. As school buildings deteriorate over time so asbestos within them can become unexpectedly disturbed.
This information is being mailed to independent schools in the South East of England in the first instance. In view of the number of schools not fully compliant with current policy it is anticipated that the take up rate for Global’s expertise will be considerable. A copy of the guide can be found here http://www.globalenvironmental.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A-Guide-to-Managing-Asbestos-in-Schools.pdf