Asbestos was used extensively as a building material in Great Britain from the1950s through to the mid-1980s. It was used for a variety of purposes, typicallyfireproofing and insulation.
Any building built before 2000 can contain asbestos. When asbestos fibres areinhaled, they can cause serious diseases. To ensure that risks from asbestos inbuildings are managed, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 place duties onthose responsible for the maintenance or repair of work premises.
Those responsible for maintenance and repair – dutyholders – are responsible forprotecting others, who work or use the premises, from exposure to asbestos.In some schools, the responsibility for maintenance or repair is shared, for examplebetween a local authority as employer and the school. In other schools, theresponsibility may fall solely to a governing body as employer. All dutyholders mustensure that any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are managed properly.
If your school contains ACMs, this checklist can help you. The checklisthas been designed to assist the school management team to review asbestosmanagement arrangements. It takes you through questions to help you check whethersuitable precautions are in place and you can record any further action needed.
Further action needed
Is the school management team aware who has the overall legal responsibility for the management of maintenance and repair of the school buildings? The responsibility for managing asbestos falls to whoever is responsible for maintenance and repair of the premises - this is the dutyholder. In some cases, these responsibilities may be shared between dutyholders.
Has the dutyholder carried out a management survey? A management survey should identify what type of ACMs are present and where they are.
Does the management survey highlight the location of ACMs? All areas of the school premises should be included: storerooms; yards; outbuildings; underﬂoor services; pipes; ceiling voids; corridors etc.
Has the dutyholder assessed the potential risk from the ACMs? The assessment should consider the condition of the ACMs, whether they are likely to be disturbed and the action that is necessary to manage the risks. Does the dutyholder have a management plan detailing how to manage the risks from any ACMs at your school? The plan should bring together all the available and relevant information. It should set out what is going to be done, when it is going to be done, and how it is going to be done – both for any remedial work and for ongoing management action like periodic checks. It should set out clear lines of responsibility. The plan can be written or held as a computer-based record and should be readily accessible. See http://www.hse.gov.uk/ pubns/indg223.pdf for further information.
Are precautions in place to ensure anyone who may disturb ACMs is provided with information about any asbestos present? The precautions should ensure anyone in-house or who comes to carry out any work on the premises does not start before they are given the information about any asbestos present. The information should be supplied well before any work starts so that the correct precautions can be implemented.
Are any in-house staff, who may undertake maintenance work, adequately trained? Training needs to be appropriate for the work. Awareness training – this is for staff whose work could expose them to asbestos while carrying out their everyday tasks. Awareness training is not suffcient for staff planning to carry out any work on ACMs. Training for work with asbestos that does not require a licence from HSE – this is for staff who plan to carry out any work on ACMs where the likelihood of exposure is much higher, eg installing cables in areas containing undamaged asbestos materials. Training for asbestos work that does require a licence from HSE – this includes most work on asbestos insulation, asbestos insulating board and lagging, including sealing and removal. Licensed contractors must carry out most work with these higher risk ACMs.