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Asbestos Heater Danger In Schools

Monday, April 29, 2013

GMB Warn Parents And Teachers Of Asbestos In Heaters In Schools

Everyone with children at school and those who work in our schools must get their heaters checked by an authorised, qualified asbestos surveyor.

GMB is calling on Head Teachers and School Governors to whether their school contain warm air heaters that contain asbestos.

GMB believes that closure of Cwmcarn school in Wales last year after reports of asbestos in the convection heaters and ceiling voids is the tip of the iceberg and indicative of the problem common in schools.

The local authority and the school governors of Cwncarn school are to spend around £750,000 on remedial action to make the school asbestos free and re-open it in September 2013 including the heaters containing asbestos.

In February 2012 and All-Party Parliamentary Group report called for six action points including the phased removal of asbestos after finding that over 75% of state schools buildings contain asbestos. The report is available to download in PDF format by clicking here.

John McClean, GMB National Heal & Safety Officer said, "GMB is warning everyone with children at school and those who work in our schools to get their heaters checked by an authorised, qualified asbestos surveyor.

The information regarding the heaters should be in the school’s own Asbestos Management Plan. If there is no reference to these heaters in the plan then the school governors must get all the heaters examined by a qualified asbestos surveyor. Each local council usually has approved local contractors for this work.

If the school doesn’t have an Asbestos Management Plan then the Head Teacher, Chair of Governors or the Local Authority must get busy and put on one in place as a matter of urgency."

Ends

Contact: John McClean, GMB National Health & Safety Officer on 07710 631329 or GMB Press Office on 07974 251823 or 020 7391 6755.

Notes to Editors:

1. GMB as a member of the Joint Unions Asbestos Committee the union endorses the guidance issued on behalf of staff working in schools where heaters containing asbestos may cause exposure to deadly asbestos fibres.

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Additional Resources

Asbestos in Schools Report

download pdf82Kb (pdf) - 30 April 2013

Exposure to asbestos fibres can cause both lung cancer and another fatal cancer of the lining of the lung called mesothelioma.