Calderdale schools given asbestos removal warning
Schools in part of West Yorkshire have been reminded of the importance of following correct asbestos management and removal procedures, after a number of health and safety failings were uncovered by a local council.
Calderdale Council, which includes the towns of Halifax, Brighouse, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, implemented a premises asbestos policy for schools and academies earlier this year, but an investigation found several examples of it not being followed, reports the Yorkshire Post.
Its report detailed two “near miss incidents” involving asbestos management in schools, but stressed that no pupils, staff or members of the public were put at risk.
However, due to the health and safety errors, schools in the area have been warned about the dangers of using contractors who are not properly trained to work with asbestos.
A memo sent to headteachers by David Whalley, Calderdale Council’s head of learning, reminded them that when procuring construction work they had a statutory duty to ensure contractors were “competent and adequately trained on the health and safety aspects” of the project.
Council policy is that when refurbishment projects are undertaken in schools, the opportunity should be taken to remove all asbestos present.
As part of its reminder to schools about the importance of health and safety guidelines, Calderdale Council officials recommended that only licensed asbestos removal contractors be used for that work.