What does it mean to you?

Half a million commercial and public (e.g. non-domestic) buildings still contain asbestos.

People working and studying in these buildings across Wales are still at risk.

The duty to manage asbestos in non-domestic premises such as school buildings, is governed by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.(CAR 2012)

Duty holders under the CAR2012 may include the employer, the governing body or the building owner.

The primary duty is to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, as to whether asbestos is present in the premises.  Employers should not carry out work which is likely to expose an employee to asbestos without first carrying out a risk assessment.  The necessary steps should then be taken to deal with the findings of the risk assessment.  That risk assessment must be reviewed regularly.

The regulations are not always easy read and are not specifically aimed at schools.

The Department for Education in England in October 2012 has published online guidelines stating “Headteachers, school governors and other members of the school management team all need to know who is responsible for asbestos management procedures and documentation, and for ensuring that is always followed.”

This is essential reading for those working in schools. Click here to view the document.

These documents are also helpful to parents and guardians, especially as the guidelines do not yet apply in Wales.

But is this enough?

According to a Western Mail article in 2009, More than 377,000 youngsters are exposed to the risk posed by asbestos in schools across Wales every day.

It isn’t currently enshrined in law, but we believe that all parents and teachers have the Right to Know if we/our children are at risk from aged asbestos’ presence in school buildings.

Shouldn’t it be easy to find out whether schools have an up-to-date asbestos register?

Even though it is a legal requirement, how can we be sure that dutyholders are complying with the requirement to hold a full register of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in a building?

This is why Right to Know is petitioning, we need your support today.