Asbestos and Electrical Safety in Schools
Oct. 10 2019
Figures released this summer show that asbestos is found in nearly half of local authority run primary schools, highlighting to potential dangers to children over exposure.
All schools, colleges and universities have a duty to keep students, employees and visitors safe. Regardless of the fact that educational institutions have been in the spotlight this year, many are still failing to report their asbestos management procedures, how can they ensure the safety of those who spend up to seven hours a day on the premises?
Bureau Veritas offers a range of services to help educational establishments meet their obligations and reduce risks, particularly when it comes to the key safety concerns of asbestos and electrical safety.
Under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, if you own, occupy, manage or have a responsibility for property, you have a legal duty to assess and manage the risk from Asbestos Containing Material (ACM). Since February 2019, all schools must also inform the government how much asbestos they have in their buildings and how they are managing the risks.
Identifying, controlling and mitigating the risk from asbestos is critical. It can be present in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000 and when materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. According to the HSE, asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers each year – including around 20 tradesmen each week as a result of past exposure.
Of course, asbestos is not the only danger within a school. Failure to meet Duty Holder requirements over the routine inspection of fixed electrical installations can place students, employees and visitors at risk of injury or death, not to mention place the school or local authority at risk of large fines.
Under the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and Electricity at Work Regulations (1989), Duty Holders have a responsibility to ensure that fixed electrical installations are safe. Schools are required to carry out routine checks on fixed electrical installations every six months (12 months for commercial organisations) and formal fixed electrical testing every five years. If there is a swimming pool on site, formal inspection and testing must be done every 12 months.
Bureau Veritas is one of the few compliance partners in the UK that can support with both fixed electrical testing and asbestos management and reporting, working in partnership with schools to reduce disruption.
We use all of our education sector experience to combine services where possible and undertake work in holiday periods, like the upcoming October Half Term and Christmas periods.
Don’t delay, book your asbestos inspections and fixed electrical testing for the upcoming winter holiday periods. Contact a member of our team today by calling 0345 600 1828 or contact us below.