Tag Archives: asbestos management

Government Review of Policy for Asbestos in Schools

We are pleased to have Michael Lees as our Guest Blogger of the month. Michael campaigns tirelessly to inform parents, teachers and support staff about asbestos in schools. His campaign website gives guidance on how to improve the management of asbestos in schools. It aims to encourage openness in the UK Government’s policy towards asbestos in schools.

Article by Michael Lees – September 2014 – http://www.asbestosexposureschools.co.uk

Asbestos Exposure in Schools

The Government is presently undertaking a review of its asbestos policy for schools and its report is imminent. There are far reaching implications, both financially and for the future safety of children and staff in our schools. The review is a positive step forward. But if it is to fulfil its potential the Government must honestly and openly examine all the evidence. In particular they must reconsider their policy of leaving asbestos in place and managing it.

More than 75% of schools contain asbestos and most remains in place because of Government policy for schools that “Asbestos which is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed or damaged is better left in place and managed until the end of the life of the building as this presents less risk of exposure to the occupants than the process of removing it.”

However the school estate has not been properly maintained and is generally in a poor condition because of long term under funding. As the buildings have deteriorated then so has the asbestos. Of particular concern is AIB that is in places accessible to children. Over the years AIB panels lining corridors have been be hit by bags and bashed by boisterous pupils. AIB ceiling tiles in gyms have been hit by balls and panels under desks kicked by the pupil’s feet. Although the visible face may be painted, the reverse face is not, so each hit or kick will release amosite fibres to be inhaled by the occupants. Read more

NHS Trust in court after workers potentially exposed to asbestos

The latest issue of ARCA News reported that a NHS Trust has been fined after it was found likely to have exposed workers to potentially fatal asbestos material for more than a decade at its three hospitals in Hertfordshire.

NHSBetween April 2000 and December 2011, the estates team at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust was maintaining buildings at Watford General Hospital, Hemel Hempstead Hospital and St Albans Hospital without knowing that asbestos was present or being trained to identify and control exposure.

The estates team, whose work is to carry out small repairs and maintenance projects where external contractors are not needed, could have disturbed asbestos fibres in the course of a job, but would have had no way of knowing or of protecting themselves.

St Albans Crown Court was told that over the 11-year period, the Trust had identified some of the asbestos materials at their sites but did not have a management or monitoring plan in place to control the risks associated with the deadly fibre. Read more

Regional meetings for our ATaC members

On Monday 17 th of November we will be hosting a regional meeting for our members at our ARCA headquarters in Burton upon Trent, we will be hosting another one on the 26th  November at ARCA training centre Rayleigh Essex.

Regional meetings for our ATaC members

The team at ATaC are planning on hosting several regional meetings for our members, the first one on the 18th of November 2014 will include a guest speaker, Colin Seditas, an ex HSE inspector who will answer questions on the Analyst Project.

The aims of our regional meetings are to engage with our members and ensure that we are on hand to answer any questions they might have. We intend to host as many regional meetings as necessary in order to ensure that all our members have the chance to join us.

If you would be interested in attending the regional meetings, please call us on 01283 566467 or alternatively email us at: info@atac.org.uk. Read more

Hove firm prosecuted after flouting asbestos laws

A Hove-based firm has been fined after it flouted asbestos regulations and removed some of the dangerous material just three weeks after being refused a licence to carry out such work, according to the latest issue of ARCA News .

shutterstock_171640289Asbestos Damage Limitations Ltd, trading as ADL, was prosecuted at Brighton Magistrates’ Court (28 Aug) for safety breaches following the work undertaken at premises in Dyke Road, Hove, between 22 and 25 October 2013.

The case was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after investigating a complaint that an unlicensed contractor was carrying out asbestos removal work.

The court was told that ADL had possessed a licence to remove asbestos – a known carcinogen

– but that this had expired in September 2013. The firm had applied for a renewal of the licence and had been for a renewal interview with HSE on 1 October. However this had resulted in an outright refusal based on inadequate performance.

Asbestos Damage Limitations Ltd, Coleridge Street, Hove, East Sussex, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,000 in costs after admitting breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Denis Bodger said:

“ADL obviously decided to ignore the fact that its asbestos licence had expired and also that theapplication to renew had been refused. Instead it carried on regardless and went ahead with work at the premises, removing a ceiling that contained asbestos insulation board.”

Read more

HSE survey: Shocking ignorance of asbestos risk

shutterstock_153912641A new survey commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and based on interviews with 500 tradespeople reveals that many are ignorant of the risks posed by asbestos.

One of the headline findings in the survey, carried out by Censuswide in September 2014, was that 14 per cent of respondents believed that drinking a glass of water would help protect them from the deadly dust. Twenty seven per cent of those asked thought that opening a window would help keep them safe.

Equally worrying, only 30 per cent of those surveyed were able to identify all the correct measures for safe asbestos working, while 57 per cent made at least one potentially lethal mistake in trying to identify how to stay safe.

The findings raise serious concerns, especially in light of the fact that tradespeople, including construction workers, carpenters and painters and decorators, could come into contact with the deadly asbestos on average more than 100 times a year.

HSE figures reveal that 20 tradespeople, on average, die every week from asbestos-related diseases.

Asbestos can be found in walls and ceilings, or the structure of a building, as well as a host of other places like floor tiles, boilers, toilet cisterns, guttering and soffits. Read more