23 May 2019
A recently published study has shown that despite stringent asbestos regulations being in place to protect building users, almost 2,500 people each year are still losing their lives due to this silent killer across the UK. Most worryingly of all, over the last decade, 200 of this number have been teachers and for every teacher, statistics show that up to 9 pupils could be at risk of developing mesothelioma - one of the most aggressive forms of lung cancer that’s closely associated with improper asbestos removal and disposal.
The inhalation of asbestos fibres is known to lead to mesothelioma and due to the fact that many of the schools across Britain were built between 1940 and 1970, around 87% of school buildings contain asbestos. However, the damage caused can lay dormant in the body for up to 40 years, meaning that many who have been affected don’t know about it and may not know about until much later in life.
The UK government’s department of education has allocated in excess of £7.4bn for the maintenance and improvement of the school estate, which includes asbestos disposal when it’s considered to be the safest action today. However, with so many already affected, it would appear to be a case of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, but much can still be done by way of educating people with regards to being able to spot asbestos and knowing what to do when its presence has been confirmed.
At OHSS Safety Consultants, we have been assisting businesses across Ireland in all matters relating to occupational hygiene, asbestos abatement and safety in the workplace since 2001. If you would like to know more about anything discussed here, please take a look at our website www.ohss.ie, where you’ll find everything you need to know.
If you’d like to talk to us about your asbestos needs, our expert team is available on 01 690 5907 for advice and guidance. If there’s one thing you take away from reading this blog, it needs to be that you shouldn’t take chances if you suspect asbestos exists in your building. You should ensure that you keep everyone clear of the area until an asbestos abatement professional has had a chance to assess the situation for the sake of everyone’s safety.