PROACTIVE APPROACH NEEDED TO PROTECT PUPILS AND STAFF FROM ASBESTOS IN SCHOOLS

Commenting on the fine issued to a construction company after sub-contractors were exposed to asbestos while refurbishing Oakwood Junior School in Derby, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT- The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT is deeply troubled to see that in yet another school, asbestos has been removed unsafely. While the prosecution and fine is welcome, this incident should not have happened in the first place.

“The NASUWT has stated consistently that the management of asbestos in situ is flawed, and all asbestos must be removed from all schools to prevent these cases occurring.

“If this work had been undertaken in term time, the outcome could have been much more serious, with potentially large numbers of pupils and teachers contaminated.

“The NASUWT is also concerned that Derby City Council appears to have learned very little from the Silverhill prosecution in 2007, at which the NASUWT was a key witness in securing the prosecution.

“The Government and employers should be taking a more proactive approach to the safety and welfare of pupils and staff.”