Independent School- HSE Asbestos Management Inspection

6 December 2023  |  Admin

The HSE has refreshed its guidance on asbestos, it includes some case studies, one from a School...

The school, comprising 18 buildings with asbestos dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, faced challenges in asbestos management. Using the same surveying company since 2010, they received annual re-inspection reports stored in the bursar's office. When a different company reported previously unidentified ACMs, an HSE inspection revealed multiple issues, leading to an Improvement Notice. The identified problems included incomplete management plans, lack of competency checks, and unclear roles. In response, the school presumed ACMs in uninspected areas, created an emergency grab bag, and reviewed and improved their management plan. They identified the dutyholder, conducted a training needs analysis, and ensured competency checks for surveying companies. The school's proactive measures, including an emergency response exercise, demonstrated compliance with the Improvement Notice and increased confidence in effectively managing asbestos risks.

Katie Parsons-Young, Consultant & Director for Kusten Vorland says, "Schools should expect differing results when the old company conducted a re-inspection, and the new company performed a survey. I'd be asking if the brief consistent, or was one surveyor attempting to outdo the other? Clarifying the distinction between a re-inspection and a survey is paramount. This raises concerns about the clarity of surveying scopes and the need for transparent, consistent assessments.

Schools shouldn't shoulder the burden of competency checks on surveying companies. Relying on industry benchmarks and certifications, like UKAS accreditation, is more practical. Trusting accredited professionals ensures industry standards are met. It all begins with effective asbestos training, underscoring the fact that the existing Asbestos Awareness syllabus may not be universally suitable for all purposes".

Read the full HSE case study here