Isle Of Wight School Forced To Close After Asbestos Scare

Dust Found In The Kitchen And Led To Children Being Sent Home

13.11.2015

Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

Specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are reiterating calls for urgent action to tackle the ‘worryingly’ high level of asbestos scares in schools and public buildings after a school on the Isle of Wight was forced to close for the day after asbestos was found in the kitchen.

Parents of children at Broadlea Primary School in Lake were contacted by text message asking them to collect their children following the discovery on the morning of Monday 10 November.

A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council said the school was closed because it was unable to provide meals, not because the asbestos posed a health risk.

Work is now underway to remove the asbestos and it is expected this will be completed this week with a thorough clean of the affected area then undertaken.

Asbestos in buildings assembled many decades ago continues to raise health fears with government reports claiming that 75 per cent of all schools in the UK contain the deadly dust.

Specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers from Irwin Mitchell recently welcomed the All-Party Occupational Safety and Health Group’s calls to rid all schools and public buildings of asbestos by 2035.

The law firm has campaigned for a risk register of the material in public buildings to be created so that it can be removed on a priority basis depending on the danger it poses to people using the building.

Expert Opinion
“It’s positive to see that the school was closed after the discovery of asbestos but it is our view that this issue could potentially have been avoided had a risk register been created to investigate asbestos in schools and public buildings and a programme of safe removal agreed.

“It takes decades from exposure to asbestos before the symptoms of diseases such as mesothelioma develop and we are still seeing the impact asbestos has had on thousands of people who worked surrounded by the dust many years ago without any knowledge of the damage it was doing to their bodies.

“All we can do now is support those suffering and try and help them receive the justice and support they need to make their live manageable fully aware that sadly it is too late to prevent what has happened.

“The focus must be on removing asbestos from schools and public buildings now to eliminate any possibility of future generations suffering in a similar way.

“News of asbestos being found in old buildings and schools is becoming far too frequent and this is why we passionately support the All-Party Occupational Safety and Health Group’s calls to remove all asbestos by 2035.

“Although the amount of asbestos was small at the Isle of Wight school this is not the case with all buildings and that’s why we continually call for a risk register to be created so harmful substances can be safety removed on a priority basis.

“It is now time for the talking to stop and for the Government to agree to a plan of action. The only way to ensure asbestos cannot claim more unwilling victims is through the introduction of a comprehensive removal programme.”
Nicola Maier, Associate

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.