Asbestos in Schools
 
Update 124
1 Feb 2012

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The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health says the presence of lethal dust fibres in school buildings is a “national scandal”

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health has exposed the level of danger from asbestos in Britain’s schools.

In launching the report, Jim Sheridan MP, Chair of the All-Party Group said “This is a national scandal. Urgent action is needed to prevent more pupils, teachers and other staff being exposed to this deadly killer dust. We need both far greater awareness of the risks that this material poses and a programme for its phased removal.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health report highlights the case for urgent action. It not only outlines the problem but makes six clear and simple recommendations about how we can prevent future exposure in our schools.

The All-Party Group recommends that:

  • The Government should set a programme for the phased removal of asbestos from all schools, with priority being given to those schools where the asbestos is considered to be most dangerous or damaged.

  • Standards in asbestos training should be set and the training should be mandatory. The training should be properly funded. It is recommended that the DfE and HSE jointly develop asbestos guidance specifically for schools and that current standards be reviewed.

  • A policy of openness should be adopted. Parents, teachers and support staff should be annually updated on the presence of asbestos in their schools and the measures that are being taken to manage it.

  • Pro-active inspections to determine the standards of asbestos management should be reinstated, with a view to reducing future costs.

  • Data should be collected centrally on the extent, type and condition of asbestos in schools and this becomes an integral part of the data collection of the condition of the nation’s schools.

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Michael Lees

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ATTACHMENTS
1. Statement by Chair of the All-Party Group
2. APPG report. "Asbestos in Schools. The need for Action"
 
 
 

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