Between September 2022 and March 2023, HSE carried out a series of inspections of schools across England, Scotland and Wales to complete a detailed assessment of the effectiveness of asbestos management arrangements. That covered 421 schools in Great Britain, 7% of which had significant enough failings in their systems, meaning enforcement notices were required to address them. Most of these failings related to improvements being needed in their management plans or surveys.
The aim of these visits was to determine compliance with their legal duties under the Control of Asbestos Regulations to manage asbestos across the sector and identify any commonly occurring issues.
There are currently 32,163 schools in the UK. Of these, 3,079 are nurseries or early-learning centres, 20,806 are primary schools, 23 are middle schools and 4,190 are secondary schools. A 7% average, as reported by HSE, represents circa 2,251 schools in the UK that potentialy need to address an asbestos-related issue.
Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) were used extensively in the construction of schools and other public buildings from the 1950s until the use of asbestos in Great Britain was completely banned in 1999.
Many school buildings constructed or refurbished during this period still contain a significant amount of ACMs. These include a range of ‘system-built’ structures which due to their construction method contain large quantities of ACMs.
System-built structures are lightweight, standardised modular buildings constructed using steel frames with panel in-fill.
Where ACMs are in good condition, well protected and unlikely to be damaged or disturbed, they can be left in place and managed safely – provided they are regularly monitored and reassessed if conditions change. However, failing to manage ACMs in this way may result in them becoming disturbed or damaged, leading to potential exposure to respirable asbestos fibres.
The people most at risk are those carrying out uncontrolled construction, installation, and maintenance activities likely to disturb ACMs.
Read the full HSE report here – HSE Management of Asbestos in School Buildings 2022/23
We know from experience that most schools do have a good understanding of their duties to manage asbestos – but are you fully compliant?
With over 40 years of experience, Bardon Environmental provide a complete asbestos management & control service.
- We are offering a free compliance check to schools and academies across the UK, where we’ll establish if your current Asbestos Management Plan and Asbestos Register are compliant and in-date.
- We can update your Asbestos Survey Reports and offer Refurbishment/Demolition asbestos surveys of areas you may want to renovate in the coming months.
- As a Licensed Asbestos Removal Contractor, we can provide costs for any remediation works required.
- Asbestos Training – Providing UKATA-approved asbestos training courses, we can work with you to ensure your key members of staff have the right asbestos training, whether that be Asbestos Awareness Training (which requires a yearly refresher) or Management of Asbestos in Premises for senior management; we have a course to suit you.
To talk to someone about your FREE compliance check, or for help & advice, call our team on 0114 349 7400 or you can email us on [email protected].
Bardon Environmental – supporting the public and private sectors for over 40 years.