Management of asbestos in school buildings 2022/23
From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.
Published by the HSE, this report provides a summary of the key findings from inspections carried out by HSE in 2022/23. They assessed how schools are:
- Managing the risks from asbestos within the school estate.
- Meeting their legal duties under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
- It is aimed at all those with responsibility for managing the school estate, including local authorities, headteachers, maintenance staff, academy trusts and governing bodies.
Most schools were found to be managing asbestos in their buildings effectively. A small number of schools (7%) had significant enough failings in their systems, meaning enforcement action was required to address them.
Where improvements were required, common areas are identified in the report. These include ensuring schools have an up-to-date survey clearly showing the location of all asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
Schools should also have an asbestos management plan in place, says the HSE, clearly setting out who does what and when, including regular scheduled checks to monitor the condition of asbestos containing materials.
Anyone carrying out work likely to disturb asbestos (for example builders, maintenance staff, IT engineers) must be appropriately trained and provided with information about location of ACMs before they start.
Schools are advised to consider the findings of this report and review their systems for managing asbestos to ensure that they remain effective and are regularly updated.
This report adds to the argument that we need to move the debate from asbestos risk management to asbestos removal. By the HSE reporting 7% of the inspections carried out identified unacceptable standards of asbestos management requiring enforcement action, there is concern that the possession of an asbestos survey report does not confirm effective asbestos risk management.
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This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.
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