Asbestos in Schools

The Safety Health & Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations 2006 were signed into law on 21 July, 2006. The Regulations impose a duty on employers to ensure that no employee is exposed to an airborne concentration of asbestos in excess of 0.1 fibres per cm (to the power of these) as an eight-hour time-weighted averaged.

Where ASTI members have concerns regarding risk or potential risk from asbestos exposure at school this should be raised in the first instance with the school principal and if necessary the Board of Management. ASTI should be contacted if the issue is not satisfactorily resolved or for advice. School Employers are required by law to assess any asbestos risk to the health of staff and must lay down any measures necessary to deal with any risk. Before any refurbishment or construction work is carried out which might involve the disturbance of or damage to asbestos the school must get appropriate expert advice and must inform the Health & Safety Authority.

Full information must be provided to all staff regarding any risk or potential risk. The Department of Education and Science assists and advises schools in dealing with the asbestos problems that may arise.

The full set of regulations is available on the Health & Safety Authority website (www.has.ie).