Recent figures collated show that asbestos compensation claims are at an all time high.
This is due to claims being made by people who have worked in schools and gone onto develop an asbestos related illness.
Within the last 10 years, a total of 32 councils have reportedly already paid out a whopping £10m in compensation to former pupils, teaching and school staff.
As a result, the government are said to be investing billions of pounds into renovating our schools and ridding them of asbestos.
But the move has come too late for some people such as Lucie Stephens, whose mum died as a result of asbestos in schools.
Lucie said, “My mum Sue was a teacher for 30 years and her life was cut short because of this horrible material.”
“As she was dying she was really angry and concerned about the 900 children that she’d taught during her career. If my mum has been exposed to this deadly substance, how many of those children will have been exposed?”
Figures compiled by BBC Yorkshire show that there are over 12,000 schools across 135 councils in England that are likely to contain asbestos.
This figure could indeed be much higher, as a lot of schools have now become academies so won’t be included in these numbers., and most schools will have been built before the year 2000.
Investigations also reveal that a total of 99 different incidents have been recorded across local authorities showing cases of asbestos being disturbed, and putting people in danger as a result of being exposed.
And alarmingly, 13 councils that were approached said they had no idea which schools (if any) in their area contained asbestos.
And another 10 councils didn’t wish to reveal the number of compensation claims they had settled!
From the figures obtained, the county of East Sussex have paid out the most in compensation claims over the last 10 years, and Birmingham have paid out the least.
Justine Greening, Education Secretary, recently told the BBC, “In the overwhelming number of cases we do remove asbestos from schools, but in some cases our experts are telling us its better to leave the material in place. What our review had done though is given us a clear blueprint for how we tackle this issue going forward and that is what we are focused on doing.”
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 https://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, to book onto one of our asbestos training courses, please call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/
Published Dec 06, 2016