Asbestos in the education sector, particularly in schools, has become an extremely emotive subject following high profile court cases and the active lobbying of the Government by teachers, parents and unions – much of this activity has been widely publicised by the media.
All educational establishments from small rural primary schools to large multi-site campus universities have a duty to ensure that asbestos is managed effectively. This will involve a wide range of activities including the completion of a suitable and sufficient survey of the premises and regular review of the asbestos register, the development of an asbestos management plan including procedures for work at the premises, regular training of site based staff etc.
Although there has been a ground swell in opinion that all asbestos materials should be removed from schools, the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance to leave asbestos containing materials in-situ within premises, if safe to do so, does apply to the education sector and this is deemed to be reasonably practicable. It is therefore vital that the dutyholder to effectively manage the risks associated with asbestos.
Environtec work in partnership with a wide range of educational establishments throughout the UK to assist in the effective management of risks associated with asbestos, including preschool, primary, secondary and higher education. Many of these partnerships are coordinated through our working partnerships with associated local government agencies. Having said this, we do also work extensively with independent schools, colleges, universities and the like.
Another area of concern within this sector is the prevalence of asbestos within System Build type properties. These are more commonly known as CLASP buildings (Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme) that was formed to combine the resources of Local Authorities with the purpose of developing a prefabricated school building programme. This building programme spanned the 1950s and 1960s and asbestos materials were extensively used in the construction process.
Our knowledge of identifying asbestos in these types of buildings and its safe removal has been built up over the last three decades and as a result, we have a wealth of experience in this specific area of asbestos management in this sector.
With a national network of offices and laboratories, Environtec has the necessary experience and resource to deliver your organisation with professional compliance services.