Asbestos was used extensively as a building material in Great Britain from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s. It was used for a variety of purposes, including fireproofing and insulation. Any building built before 2000 can contain asbestos.
When asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can cause serious diseases. To ensure that risks from asbestos in buildings are managed, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 place duties on those responsible for the maintenance or repair of work premises.
In some schools, the responsibility for maintenance or repair is shared, for example between a local authority as employer and the school. In other schools, the responsibility may fall solely to a governing body as employer. All dutyholders must ensure that any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) are managed properly.
The HSE has developed an Asbestos checklist for schools PDF. This checklist is based on the questions that formed part of their 2010/11 inspections, and will help schools to review their asbestos management arrangements. It asks key questions to help schools check if suitable precautions are in place, and to record any further action that is needed.