Numerous schools across the UK still have dangerous amounts of asbestos materials somewhere on their premises.
Yet despite the UK Government having consulted on the issue of the current management of this risk early last year, the promised report still remains to be seen.
With this in mind, earlier this month Kevin Brennan MP raised a question in the House of Commons as to when the finding as to asbestos in schools would be published. In reply, David Laws MP stated that an update on management of the asbestos would be provided shortly.
The fear is that the delay might in some way be due to the potential increased costs which the review of the current regime of managing asbestos might bring. But the urgency of the need for action couldn’t be clearer.
According to an HM Government report entitled Asbestos Management in Schools in November 2013, more than 14,000 schools were built between 1945 and 1975 when asbestos was most used. What’s more there is a potential risk of asbestos for schools which were refurbished right up to 1999. Overall the report concluded that more than three quarters of schools have some building with asbestos.
An example of the use of asbestos in schools is in thermal insulation of boilers as well as heating and hot water pipe work. Another is in wall panelling and partitions where asbestos insulating board cement may have been used or perhaps material with an asbestos paper lining.
The diseases caused by exposure to asbestos can be fatal and include mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. These diseases can take many years to produce symptoms and at that time it can potentially be challenging to pinpoint where the exposure to asbestos may have taken place.
The risks are not only to those people doing building or maintenance work and to workers such as caretakers and teaching staff but also potentially to children. With all of this in mind, The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 set out minimum standards to protect people from the risks.
However a consultation was then undertaken early last year to review the adequacy of the current regime and to see how the UK Government might be able to assist those responsible.
It is the response to this consultation that still remains to be seen. Given the prevalence of asbestos and the seriousness of the consequences of exposure it is very much to be hoped that a response will be forthcoming sooner rather than later.
Claims Direct offer a free consultation for people suffering from an asbestos related disease. Our Personal Injury Lawyers deal with all types of asbestos compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that there is no financial risk to you.
Call Claims Direct 24/7 on freephone 0800 884 0321 or start an asbestos claim online and we will review your claim at no cost to you.