The recent release of the Labour manifesto has confirmed that;
“Labour will [also] invest in new school buildings, including the phased removal of asbestos from existing schools”
This is the first time a major party has included such a provision within its manifesto showing how important the safe removal of asbestos now is within our society. Whilst Labour have acknowledged that progress is required in this area there do not appear to be any other mainstream parties commenting on asbestos.
A recent freedom of information request has highlighted the fact that asbestos is still present in 75% of council run schools in Devon. Plymouth was shown to still have potentially fatal asbestos present in 84% of their council-run schools.
As it only takes one strand of asbestos to cause potentially fatal conditions such as mesothelioma it is truly remarkable that the government’s policy is still one of managing the exposure to asbestos as opposed to attempting to remove it from the schools.
Asbestos is at its most dangerous when it has been disturbed however with the latest report from Asbestos Testing and Consultancy confirming that none of the schools surveyed in Devon are compliant with the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance it is no wonder that claims are being brought forward for asbestos exposure that occurred many years ago by teachers and students alike.
The safe removal of asbestos from the schools in the local area would represent major progress in this field, where sadly the South West seems to have been disproportionately affected.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition then please contact our specialist Industrial Disease department on 01752 292209 to discuss how we can best help you.