February 23, 2019

Asbestos safety advice on offer

Asbestos safety advice on offer

Asbestos waste experts wearing protective clothing start work after receiving material from a school

Asbestos waste experts wearing protective clothing start work after receiving material from a school

First published

Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author

by , Crime reporter

TEACHERS are to be given advice on how they can keep themselves and their pupils safe from asbestos in schools.

Safety-related subjects in and out of the classroom are to be discussed at a conference held by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health in Burnley tomorrow (Nov 19).

The event, called Embracing Risk in Education – a Fresh Approach, has been organised jointly by IOSH’s education and fire risk management groups to inform those who work in schools about how they can keep safe.

They will hear about the best measures of managing asbestos in schools. These measures include having regular surveys and encapsulating or sealing the asbestos.

The latest figures, revealed in 2009, showed that 55 out of 73 schools in Blackburn and Darwen contained asbestos.

In Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, 213 schools had the potentially deadly material.

About 13,000 of the country’s 25,000 schools were built between 1945 and 1974 when asbestos use was at a peak.

Fiona Riley, vice-chair of the IOSH education group, said: “So many school buildings have asbestos within them and whilst the school may be aware of the requirement to undertake an asbestos survey, they may not have ongoing arrangements in place to manage the presence of asbestos.

“Children should be able to experience a wide range of activities during their time at school and proportionate health and safety measures should help, rather than hinder.”

Dave Harling, executive member for schools and education at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “There is always a concern about asbestos because of the dangers.

“However, a lot of asbestos in schools is not a danger and it is not likely there is a pile of asbestos sitting in a classroom.

“We have health and safety measures in place to deal with it.”

Also on the agenda at the meeting will be a talk from CLEAPPS, which supports the teaching of science and technology safely in schools.

Representatives will be delivering a training session at the event at the football ground to show how to effectively manage the risks associated with teaching the subjects.

Delegates will also hear about dangers posed to people in the leisure industry.

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Asbestos safety advice on offer