January 18, 2019

About 180 schools in Worcestershire have asbestos

About 180 schools in Worcestershire have asbestos

First published


ALMOST 200 schools in Worcestershire contain asbestos, according to official figures.

This has led to claims of safety concerns from some quarters.

But Worcestershire County Council has reassured the public that all asbestos in the 180 affected schools is managed in line with an approved code of practice and that any potentially hazardous material is removed as part of an ongoing programme.

Councillor Liz Eyre, cabinet member for children and families at Worcestershire County Council, said: “There are around 180 schools supported by the county council which are currently recorded as having asbestos containing materials.

“All buildings have been surveyed and we manage the asbestos in schools in accordance with the approved code of practice to ensure that we comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

“Anything considered to be potentially hazardous is being removed under an ongoing programme.”


About 180 schools in Worcestershire have asbestos

Taxpayers to cover James Hardie asbestos shortfall

Taxpayers to cover James Hardie asbestos shortfall



Tim Binsted

The NSW government will extend funding to asbestos victims in case of a shortfall in funds from James Hardie

The NSW government will extend funding to asbestos victims in case of a shortfall in funds from James Hardie Photo: Bloomberg

The New South Wales government will extend further credit to the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund to prevent victims being paid in instalments in the event payments from James Hardie Industries are insufficient to cover claims.

On Friday the NSW government said it has agreed to amend the terms of its loan facility with the AICF. The changes extend the term of the loan and allow the fund to draw down the full $320 million of the facility rather than $214 million previously stipulated.

The AICF warned last year that a spike in mesothelioma claims, the most expensive asbestos victims claims category, could force it to enter an “approved payment scheme” as of July 1.

The scheme, which would have allowed compensation to be paid to some victims in instalments rather than upfront due to a lack of funds, sparked outrage among victims groups.


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Taxpayers to cover James Hardie asbestos shortfall

Asbestos all-clear for Naval Service ships as LÉ Orla readies for high seas

Work on removing potentially lethal asbestos on the Naval Service ship LÉ Orla has been completed, although it will be a few weeks before she becomes fully operational again.

When back on patrol, it will mean that the Naval Service is back to its full complement of eight ships as the LÉ Ciara was also dry-docked for several months while asbestos was removed from it.

A specialist contractor was employed to remove the substance and send it for disposal to Germany.

While the cost of the operation hasn’t been disclosed by the Department of Defence, industry experts say it is likely to top €1m.

Both ships were put out of commission on May 28 last year when significant amounts of asbestos was found onboard. The clean-up operation was overseen by the Health and Safety Authority.

The Naval Service said it has completed a fleet-wide asbestos review and can now confirm a clean bill of health for all vessels.

In 2000, the Department of Defence commissioned consultants to examine all the fleet and reported there was no asbestos onboard any vessels.

The company which carried out that examination has since ceased to exist, meaning that the taxpayer will have to foot the bill for the clean-ups.

In the 1980s, asbestos was widely used in the ship-building industry, especially in engine rooms to insulate pipes and boilers. At the time, it was considered the best and most cost-effective insulating material and was also fire-resistant.

A total of 116 Naval Service personnel and civilian workers are understood to have come in contact with asbestos onboard the ships or at the Naval Service’s headquarters on Haulbowline Island, Cobh.

They have been medically examined and have been promised regular screening in the years to come, as it can take up to 40 years for the symptoms to manifest.

In the meantime, Naval Service sources say they’re hopeful that the latest addition to the fleet, LÉ James Joyce, will arrive at their Haulbowline headquarters in Cork harbour around St Patrick’s Day.

However, this will depend on there being no hiccups during her sea trials.

The €50m vessel is being built at a shipyard in Appledore, Devon, by the same company which supplied the LÉ Samuel Beckett, which became operational last year.

The LÉ James Joyce will replace the LÉ Aoife, which is in the process of being decommissioned and is set to be sold off through auction.

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Asbestos all-clear for Naval Service ships as LÉ Orla readies for high seas

Asbestos present in campus buildings

Asbestos present in campus buildings


According to the UNC Department of Housing and Residential Education, since 2009 seven residence halls have been identified as having surfacing materials containing asbestos.

Rick Bradley, associate director of housing and residential education, said that students living on campus should not worry about becoming ill from the asbestos found in their dorms.

“The asbestos is contained and does not pose a health risk,” Bradley said.

In order to ensure the safety of students living in dorms with asbestos, Bradley suggested a few precautions, such as refraining from scraping or attaching items to the walls, ceiling or pipes.

He also said to keep lofted beds at least 3 feet from the ceiling, which is residence hall policy.

“The key is to contain the asbestos and to notify individuals as to the precautions that should be taken,” Bradley said.

Junior Kristin Tajlili has lived in a residence hall each year she’s been at UNC. Two of the dorms she has lived in are on the list of buildings tracked for asbestos.

She said she had not heard about the issue of asbestos on campus until the recent construction in the quad, but she is not concerned about it.

Tajlili said her only complaint is that the University did not tell her before she chose her dorm.

“I think it would have been better to let everyone know (about the presence of asbestos) when applying for housing, because we are paying a lot of money to live on campus,” Tajlili said.

Freshman Riley Foster lives in Hinton James and said knowledge of the asbestos may have factored into her choice of dorm, but ultimately, she is not worried.

“I trust Carolina enough to believe they would not let me live somewhere I was really at risk,” Foster said.

Foster also said she thinks the construction in the quad is a positive sign of the investment the University is making to ensure the safety of its students.

Whether asbestos is in the quad or a residence hall, Foster said she is sure the issues with the material will be addressed.

“If there is a health risk, they’ll make the investment to fix it,” Foster said.


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Asbestos present in campus buildings

Asbestos removed as Broad Street Parkway construction continues

NASHUA — So far, about 17,000 cubic yards of asbestos has been mitigated and disposed of during construction on the Broad Street Parkway.

That amount, according to project manager John Vancor, is slightly less than expected. Initially, crews were anticipating that 16,500 cubic yards of asbestos would be encountered and disposed of on site, in addition to 3,000 cubic yards that would have to be taken off of the site for disposal, he said.

“All of the asbestos encountered has been disposed of,” said Vancor, adding two independent teams of professionals are making sure that all asbestos safeguards are in place.

The majority of asbestos has been located within the northern portion of the roadway work, although a small amount has been found elsewhere, according to Vancor.

Aside from the asbestos, crews are now dealing with problems of urban fill found inside certain areas of the project that must also be disposed of, he explained.

Progress on the Broad Street Parkway, a nearly two-mile urban roadway that will provide another crossing over the Nashua River, is moving ahead on schedule and on budget.

“There is quite a bit of activity going on,” Vancor said this week.

He said a retaining wall is being constructed, a new sewer pipe has been installed and a trestle into the river is underway.Earth work has also begun in the north sector of the roadway project, according to Vancor, who has heard complaints about vibrations at nearby buildings.”I know there is a lot of concern,” he said, acknowledging there is quite a bit of ground vibrations. However, he stressed that no blasting is taking place as part of the Broad Street Parkway project.
As construction progresses, he said there are still properties that must be acquired to pave way for the roadway. Acquisition of those properties by the state Department of Transportation is ongoing, said Vancor.There are some surplus properties no longer needed for the parkway since its original route was altered. Vancor said those properties must be sold within the next year to help offset the bond, otherwise the money will be returned to the federal government.One of the surplus properties includes the Nashua Police Department’s current training facility.

Alderman-at-Large James Donchess said he would like the city to retain that parcel at 82 Pine St. Ext., questioning Vancor this week on whether keeping that property would be feasible. Donchess also asked whether some of the surplus properties could be leased by the city.

Vancor said he would have to seek clarification on those matters.

In the meantime, he said there is still some demolition that remains at 44 Broad St., a parcel that was previously taken by eminent domain as part of the Broad Street Parkway project but is no longer necessary for the revised path of the roadway.
The parcel, which is now being used as a staging area for one of the parkway contractors, was previously occupied by Mayhem Ink, Aidan James Salon, Wizard Cycles and Gregory J. Fine Flooring and Design. The plot was originally considered for the relocation of the David W. Deane Skateboard Park, but other sites are now being evaluated for the park.The Broad Street Parkway, which will cost about $60 million to complete, will provide another crossing over the Nashua River and allow motorists to bypass Amherst Street, possibly alleviating downtown traffic and potentially attracting more business to the Millyard Technology Park.

Construction includes a new Nashua River Bridge, as well as construction to the Baldwin and Fairmount Street bridges. Work has already begun on Baldwin Street, and the bridge there is expected to be completed by the start of the next school year.

Work on the Fairmount Street Bridge will begin once Baldwin Street is finished, and that section of the project should be completed in about a year. The new Nashua River Bridge will be finished prior to that, with an opening date planned for May 1, 2015.


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Asbestos removed as Broad Street Parkway construction continues

Renovators playing Russian roulette with asbestos

Renovators playing Russian roulette with asbestos
Renovators playing Russian roulette with asbestos

Experts have warned that home renovators are not undertaking proper precautions with asbestos and are not only putting themselves at risk, but their families as well.

While it is no longer manufactured in Australia, asbestos remains a sleeping giant in a third of the nation’s homes.

There are fears a new generation of ‘do-it-yourself’ renovators has no idea what they are disturbing.

“A lot of young people are doing this and they need to know what they are dealing with,” asbestos removalist Wendy Tredinnick said.

Terry Miller from the Asbestos Victims Association was diagnosed with asbestosis almost a decade ago after working at James Hardie’s factory in Adelaide’s northern suburbs for 20 years.

His wife died 15 years ago from an asbestos-related lung disease.

She had never worked with the material, but was regularly washing fibres out of her husband’s clothes.

“You don’t need much exposure,” Mr Miller said.

“It’s not just the person doing the job, it could be one of their kids crawling on the floor, could be the wife breathing it in.”

A survey of 1500 home renovators in New South Wales found only 12 per cent regularly wore respiratory devices – a trend experts say reflects the country.

“Hardly a week goes by here that we don’t get a phone call from someone saying ‘we just started doing this and pulled a sheet off the bathroom wall and there’s asbestos stickers on the back’,” Ms Tredinnick said.

Asbestos can be found under floor coverings, particularly on the back of lino, behind walls and even as insulation in ceilings.

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Renovators playing Russian roulette with asbestos

Asbestos illness leaves victim baffled

A man who has the deadly asbestos-related disease mesothelioma fears he may have contracted it when he was a student at a school in Wagin more than 30 years ago.

Diagnosed in July last year, Ballidu resident John McDonald, 49, is appealing for information from anyone who was a student or teacher at Wagin junior high school in the 1970s, when he believes the school used asbestos in an extension.

Slater and Gordon lawyer Tricia Wong said Mr McDonald was considering seeking compensation from building products manufacturer James Hardie and from the Education Department.

It was a race against time and he would need help from others who were at the same school to be able to mount a case for compensation.

She said there were public records that showed James Hardie building products were used in construction projects at the Wagin school in the 1970s.

Ms Wong said an added concern was that other students and teachers may also have been exposed at the school.

Mr McDonald, who spent more than 20 years working as a chef and nearly a decade as a farm worker, cannot recall any other asbestos exposure in his employment history.

“When someone tells you that you have months to live it’s quite hard to believe,” he said.

“I was quite numb when I was first confronted and then I found out there’s no cure. That was quite devastating.”

Ms Wong said lawyers were seeing more people with asbestos- related diseases who were initially unsure where they had been exposed to the deadly dust.

An Education Department spokeswoman said it settled a claim last year for a teacher generally exposed to asbestos in Wittenoom in the 1940s, but it did not have any other active claims.

She said there may have been historic claims relating to industrial disease before RiskCover was established in 1997 but no central record had been kept of those claims.

All asbestos roofs in WA public schools were replaced by 2001.

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Asbestos illness leaves victim baffled