School asbestos incident at Aberdeen academy

Last Updated on September 17, 2019 by

School asbestos was forgotten about for five days

Reports from BBC Scotland say that a school in Aberdeen allowed twenty five people back onto the school premises following the disturbance of asbestos.

The people were allowed back into the school due to a series of failures in dealing with the school asbestos incident.

Aberdeen’s Bridge of Don Academy saw various staff including teachers, cleaners, janitors and sub-contractors on the school premises over the 5 days following the school asbestos incident in July 2018.

Asbestos insulation board was stripped out as part of some maintenance work being carried out at the school on 12th July 2018.

Workmen did not initially realise that the plasterboard they were removing from above the fire doors contained asbestos.

Concerns were raised that the material could contain asbestos, so it was double bagged and left by a skip.

As part of the council’s investigation report, they revealed that a line manager forgot about this incident in the 5 days that followed.

No emergency procedures were put in place, thus allowing people onto the premises.

In the council report it details how the site was “not safe” as the area had “not been correctly decontaminated and isolated to prevent access by other users of the building”.

Eventually, on the 17th July 2018, some 5 days after the initial discovery of the suspected asbestos, emergency procedures commenced.

Firstly, work began on cleaning the affected area, and two vehicles used in the incident were quarantined for deep cleaning.

Samples of the insulating board that were sent off to be tested for asbestos came back positive on the 19th July.

In the council’s report, it details how the failing occurred, “Once the site supervisor notified his line manager about the potential disturbance of AIB (asbestos containing material) on 12 July, existing procedure was not initiated by the site manager because he was following instructions from his line manager.”

“Line manager did not initiate procedure because he forgot about the incident until 17 July.”

school asbestos incident at Bridge of Don Academy in Aberdeen

Calls for asbestos refresher training

As a result of this school asbestos incident, the council have called for asbestos refresher training so that contractors have a better knowledge and understanding of asbestos.

Particularly they say, as there was no sense of urgency throughout the incident and planning was very poor.

Aberdeen City Council spokesman said of the school asbestos incident at Bridge of Don Academy, “The health, safety and wellbeing of staff, pupils, contractors and all visitors to schools is a priority and Aberdeen City Council has robust policies, procedures and training in place in relation to asbestos.”

“The incident at Bridge of Don Academy has been the subject of an internal investigation and the council is supporting the Health and Safety Executive as it conducts its independent investigation.”

“The matter will be the subject of a report to the audit, risk and scrutiny committee in due course and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

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Published Aug 21, 2018

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