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October 17, 2012

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Welsh local authorities told to report on asbestos in schools

The unexpected closure last Friday of a school in Caerphilly, owing to worries about asbestos levels, has prompted the Wales Education minister to seek confirmation from all local authorities in the principality that they are managing asbestos in schools in accordance with their legal duties.

Cwmcarn High School, which caters for more than 900 pupils, shut on 12 October after a structural report identified the presence of asbestos. The school is expected to reopen, in part, by the end of this week.

Local authorities and schools’ governing bodies in Wales have a legal responsibility to maintain up-to date records on the location and condition of asbestos-containing materials and a duty to ensure that appropriate management plans are in place to outline how the associated risks will be managed.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “In light of the current situation, the minister has asked his department to write to all local authorities in Wales to request confirmation that they are undertaking their statutory duties in accordance with current legislation, and asks that existing plans for the management of asbestos in schools are reviewed accordingly.” €

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Bob

And the Asbestos farce continues.

Anyone not knowing their duties in regard to asbestos at this stage should be nicked.

Anyone owning a building built before 2010 other than a domestic client is required to have an asbestos register. This can only be attained by having the structure surveyed by a UKAS accredited Asbestos Surveyor.

But given that 1 in 4 Asbestos Surveys is not fit for purpose as noted in SHP back in
April 2012, should we be surprised at this continued farcical approach

Phillipaphipps

There is a fundemental point. The new regs specify a maximum of 0.1 fibres per cubic centimeter,therefore monitoring must always include air samples throughout the space.
Remember the public are often allowed into public spaces and recent supreme court judgement has confirmed that the insuerer in place at the date of contact is at risk.. I understand head teacher is the legally responsible person and should be able to provide insuance underwritten confirmation before anyone enters the building.

Rjlees

Your article says: “The HSE’s current advice states that if asbestos is not disturbed or damaged, then it is safer to leave it in situ, with robust processes in place to contain and monitor it …”, but the HSE advice has the flaw that schools do not test the condition of their hidden and encapsulated asbestos and do not test whether school activity is disturbing it and releasing fibres.