The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have announced they will be carrying out a programme of inspections to primary and secondary school establishments from September 2022. The inspections will assess how schools are managing the risks from asbestos and meeting the Duty to Manage requirements, set out in Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
These Regulations place duties on those responsible for the maintenance of the work premises, (usually the employer) to manage the risk of harm from asbestos. Whilst the HSE have the power to make unplanned visits, for the purposes of these inspections, visits to schools will be planned and the school will be expected to make available the person/employee who has knowledge of how asbestos is managed within the school.
Prior to the inspection, the HSE are able to request to view documents, such as an Asbestos Management Plan. During the inspection, the HSE are entitled to talk to staff, inspect documents and take photographs. They will also discuss any issues noted, instances where there is a breach and improvements that can be made. Following the inspection, the HSE have the power to issue Improvement/Prohibition Notices or choose to prosecute where there is a risk of harm.
Immediate measures can be taken to ensure that your school is ready for an inspection. The firm’s regulatory team are able to ensure that your school is aware of its obligations, can identify the duty holder and review any Asbestos Management Plans and risk assessments in place.
We also provide assistance with drafting or creating new Asbestos Policies where your school does not currently hold one or reviewing existing policies or documents which are already in place.
Post inspection, the team can advise on the next steps where breaches have been found, or where an Improvement/Prohibition notice has been issued to the school.