Damaged asbestos found in buildings rented out to private nursery

A building owned by Bloomfield Collegiate School and rented out for others use, as well as still being used by the School, has been found to contain damaged asbestos materials.

A building belonging to Bloomfield Collegiate School, East Belfast, which is rented out to a private nursery have been found to contain damaged asbestos.  Although the building is separate from the school, some senior pupils and members of staff from the school still also use part of the building.

Last year the school decided to renovate the building and in preparation for this work a Refurbishment and Demotion Asbestos Survey was carried out by a specialist company. The outcome of the survey last May was that there was asbestos in some areas of the building. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation following tests showing what are described as “elevated levels” of asbestos in the air.

The school’s headmaster Dr Darrin Barr took the decision to immediately close the building to public use including the Astoria Kindergarten. The Public Health Agency confirmed work carried out in 2001 on cupboards in the building may have exposed the asbestos. The insides of cupboards were made of asbestos containing materials and had been damaged. This means that the damaged asbestos may have been releasing asbestos fibres for 11 years undetected; meaning anyone who used the buildings can be a risk from developing an asbestos related disease.

The case shows how the requirement for a Management Asbestos Survey, under the ‘Duty to Manage’ asbestos law which is set out in section 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, is extremely necessary and should be strictly adhered to. The fallout of this failure could be huge spanning a variety of people who have been exposed to asbestos fibres over the 11 years it was unnoticed.  In order to deal with concerns from anyone who are affected by this presently and it in the past 11 years, a confidential PHA email facility has been set up. Forward any queries sent to pha.asbestos@hscni.net will be dealt with by a PHA Health Protection Consultant.

Here at Armco Asbestos Consultants we take the risks asbestos pose very seriously and are fully qualified with over 15 years of industry experience in providing a variety of asbestos related services. You can be confident that any survey we undertake will identify all asbestos containing materials and make the correct recommendations to ensure the material is dealt with appropriately. In doing so staff and the public can be spared the risks and worry which cases such as this evoke. Contact the Armco team on 0161 7633 727 for further information or a competitive quote.

 

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Published Jul 06, 2012
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