From September 2022 to March 2023, HSE carried out over 400 inspections of primary and secondary schools across England, Scotland and Wales to assess how they are managing risks from asbestos.
The inspections showed that most schools were complying with their legal duties and had effective systems in place to manage and monitor the condition of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
A small number of schools (7%) had significant enough failings in their systems, meaning enforcement action was required to address them. Most of these failings related to improvements being needed in their management plans or surveys.
HSE has published a report giving full details, including the key findings that schools should:
keep an up-to-date survey clearly showing the location of asbestos and highlighting any areas not surveyed
identify any action required by the survey, check to make sure it is completed and update records
have a clear asbestos management plan specific to the site, and regularly review it
regularly monitor the condition of ACMs
have effective procedures for dealing with any unplanned disturbance of ACMs and providing accurate information to emergency services attending the site
ensure staff have clear roles and responsibilities for managing asbestos and ensure deputies or contingency plans are in place to cover for absences
ensure contractors provide risk assessments, method statements, and evidence of asbestos awareness training
These findings will be used to inform future intervention approaches within the education sector and to help identify areas for improvement in schools.
Every employer must make sure that anyone who is liable to disturb asbestos during their normal work, or who supervises those employees, gets the correct level of information, instruction and training so that they can work safely and competently without risk to themselves or others.
Don't hesitate to get in contact if you require UKATA Asbestos Awareness or Non-Licensed Training. We offer classroom based training, on-site training, and online eLearning: