Calls for action on asbestos in schools after spot-check revelations

Better training and proactive inspections are being called for this week after the HSE found asbestos management failings in 20 out of 153 schools during its recent spot-checks. Pete Henshaw reports.

A spot-check of asbestos management in schools outside local authority control has led to enforcement action being taken in a number of cases.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out visits to a randomly selected sample of 153 non-local authority schools, including free schools and academies.

While a majority required no further action or were “given straightforward, simple advice”, 29 per cent – 44 schools – have been sent written advice on improving their asbestos management.

Furthermore, the visits led to enforcement action being taken in 20 of the 44 schools (13 per cent) in the form of improvement notices.

Of these 20, eight had no asbestos management plan while another eight had failed to carry out a survey or assessment, or had done an inadequate assessment, of its asbestos-containing materials.

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