The ConDem government have been delaying the “managing asbestos in schools” report for over 8 months and finally after pressure from MP’s, Joint Union Asbestos Committee and unions such as UNISON it was released by the Department for Education this week and is frankly a disappointing document that gives scant comfort to the UNISON members and past pupils who have, and as importantly still will, develop asbestos related diseases such as the killer cancer Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos fibres that are endemic in the schools estate (over 85% of schools contain asbestos).
Here are two links, one to the International ban Asbestos Secretariat which puts the issue into a political context (don’t forget elections are soon) and the other is the Department for Education’s report into managing asbestos in schools. This is worth reading even if you don’t work in a school as you more than likely went to a school that had asbestos in it, your kids still probably attend schools that have asbestos in them and one of the joint Union Asbestos Committee conclusions is that asbestos is contained in a similar percentage (over 80%) of non-school local authority buildings. To prove the point UNISON members may wish to attend Southwark Crown Court on the 30th March and witness the London Borough of Waltham Forest receiving it’s sentence for being found guilty to 2 breaches of the Health and Safety at Work act 1974 alongside 2 breaches of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (2006,2012) which pertain to the lack of management of asbestos in the Town Hall basement over a number of years.
Please contact Bill Palmer or Dave Knight on 0208 496 4703 for the latest details on the court hearing and about joining a branch delegation to the hearing and sentencing.