HSE investigating school gauze mats for asbestos
The HSE has said it has been made aware that two UK laboratory supply companies have supplied schools and potentially other users with gauze mats containing asbestos.
The metal gauze mats are designed for use over Bunsen burners.
In a statement, a HSE spokesperson said: “While we assess the overall risk of exposure to be low, we have taken swift action.
“We have ensured that both of the supply companies concerned immediately ceased supply of the gauze mats and are overseeing arrangements to contact affected customers and provide precautionary advice on how the mats should be disposed of safely.
“We are working closely with Department for Education, education departments in Scotland and Wales as well as CLEAPSS (Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services).
“This will help us ensure that schools, colleges, local regulators, and others who may have supplied or purchased similar products are directed to our advice.
“We are also investigating how these particular gauze mats came into circulation. Breaches of the restrictions on the supply of asbestos are taken very seriously by HSE.”
The Health and Safety Executive (HSENI) has also announced that working to establish whether pupils in Northern Ireland have been affected by asbestos in classrooms.
The HSE in England has released some Advice to users of Bunsen burner wire gauzes that may contain asbestos.
Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing
Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.
This free director’s briefing contains:
- Key points;
- Recommendations for employers;
- Case law;
- Legal duties.