Derbyshire County Council have said that asbestos found in hundreds of Derbyshire schools has already cost them over £400,00 in compensation claims.
And those costs are set to rise as more cases are expected to be dealt with.
According to the figures gathered, over 200 schools in the county are said to contain asbestos.
The information has been published on the council website as part of a freedom of information request.
Joanne Gordon who works for the charity ‘Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team’, who support people suffering from asbestos related diseases, said that the findings were worrying and that asbestos in schools was an increasing cause for concern.
Joanne says, “It’s a shocking amount of money to be paid out, but it’s the right thing to happen.”
“We are seeing more and more teachers and school staff who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and we are launching a project to raise awareness of asbestos in schools.”
The council say that seven individual claims have been made to the council by former pupils and staff, with 3 of those cases now closed and 4 remaining open.
Council officials say that the costs of the damages paid out so far in these cases has been over £400,000.
Local asbestos charity gives advice
People who visit the ‘Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team’s’ website can now find out for themselves where asbestos may be located within schools, as the website has a new feature which allows them to do this.
Asbestos can usually be found in walls, ceilings and roof tiles.
Joanne Gordon from the charity says, “Teachers working in schools should check the asbestos register and find out where their asbestos is and what condition it’s in, so they can then be aware if that condition deteriorates.”
She also advises people who think they may have been exposed to asbestos to visit their GP for a check up and to have x-rays taken.
Derbyshire council say that they follow strict regulations with regards to the control of asbestos within schools, and that school buildings are regularly checked by a professional team for asbestos and removed when necessary.
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting http://www.armco.org.uk/