It has been revealed that the British Safety Council in the UK has called for a national audit of asbestos in schools to be carried out, stating that asbestos risks in schools need to be assessed because around sixteen teachers a year are now dying due to asbestos related illness such as the cancer mesothelioma.
One industry experts described the fact that no such audit has yet been carried out on UK schools as being ‘unacceptable’. The opinion of the British Safety Council has been echoed by the National Union of Teachers, which also wants the national asbestos survey to be carried out.
An official from the British Safety Council stated: “It is unacceptable that the UK…has not yet undertaken a national audit of asbestos in schools and has not comprehensively assessed the risks that teachers and pupils in each and every school face; and has not allocated appropriate resources to take urgent remedial action.”
He added: “In 2009 it is estimated that more than 4,000 people will die from cancers caused by past exposure to asbestos in the workplace – making it the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK…In the short-term school heads and chairs of governors may want to ask themselves this question: ‘Would you allow members of your family to attend a school or college where the asbestos risk had not been assessed?’”