Schools: Asbestos

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 14th June 2018.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many asbestos disturbances in schools have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive in each of the last five years; and how many (a) children, (b) teachers and (c) non-teaching staff have been affected by those disturbances.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) require incidents to be reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) where the reporter judges that a work activity has caused the accidental release or escape of asbestos fibres into the air in a quantity believed to be sufficient to cause potential damage to the health of any person.

Analysis of the RIDDOR reports received by HSE for the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) relevant for schools identifies a number of such reports in each of the last 5 years:

Year

No. of reports

2017

34

2016

46

2015

27

2014

28

2013

60

The Regulations do not require the number of school staff and pupils who may have been exposed in incidents to be included within the notification. Many of the reports relate to work undertaken by contractors in schools in areas away from pupils and school staff. Therefore, it is not possible to readily determine potential exposures.

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