New Research Highlights School Asbestos Management Issues

Experts Call For Action

18.04.2011

Asbestos specialists at Irwin Mitchell are calling for the presence of the deadly material in schools to be properly considered, following the release of a concerning new report.

The Joint Union Asbestos Campaign survey, which has been conducted by nine trade unions with members based in education, has revealed that seven out of ten school safety representatives have not been consulted about the management of the material.

In addition, less than a third of those polled said asbestos was clearly marked, while only a fifth revealed that staff at their school had awareness training in relation to the substance.

Irwin Mitchell’s asbestos-related disease team regularly provide support and advice to those who have suffered serious illness as a result of exposure to asbestos, including people who have contracted mesothelioma both as pupils and workers at schools.

The firm has long campaigned for greater awareness of the risks, as well as the removal of the material from both public and education buildings.

Adrian Budgen, national head of the asbestos claims team at Irwin Mitchell, said this new research highlights massive concerns.

He explained: “Asbestos is the biggest occupational killer of all time, with exposure traditionally seen in those who have worked in industrial environments.

“However, as a recent Supreme Court ruling highlighted, the number of people who have suffered illness after suffering low-level exposure in schools or public buildings like hospitals is on the rise.

“Because of this, it is massively concerning to see this research highlight serious management failings in schools, where both staff and young children are at potential risk.

“It is unacceptable and these findings show why it is vital for the material to be removed from such buildings, in an effort to guarantee that no one else will suffer mesothelioma or other illnesses as a result of asbestos exposure.”

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