Living With Mesothelioma -My Diary- A very warm day but a great day for Asbestos in Schools – The APPG Asbestos Seminar took place yesterday at TUC London


Had a very tiring day yesterday. The heat was so stifling as the air was so humid. The heat after all last weeks rain caused the humidity to rise.

I cant believe after moaning about the rain last week Im moaning about the heat this week.

One thing we are noticing is the fact I have my voice back. I have often talked about the change in my voice. Very croaky as the tumour grows back and clears as the tumour shrinks. That is happing so it must be the tumour has shrunk off the nerves to my voice box.

My Scan in August will tell me if I’m right.

Still the pains in my shoulder and all down the right left lung from under my arms. A weight loss though so the fluid is going away. Im eating very healthy now. Low fat and more fruit as strawberries and cherries are plentiful at the moment and plums are ripe so they are the fruits I love, Still no bananas though. I love them but they make my potassium rise.

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We did have a good day yesterday and I did a really good clean through. Love changing shower curtain and toilet mats to blue from green as it changes the whole appearance.

Moped all the floors right through. So pleased we dont have carpets as it is so much fresher after a good mop.

The only thing is Ray and Louis always walk back in, why do they always choose that moment.

Windows were flung wide open to let the sun and breeze in and you feel so good.

Then I flag. We did go to B&Qs but walked Louis to the rugby field first. He had a great game off lead but he was getting to warm and was panting away so we cooled him down and ray went shopping. We couldnt wait in the car as it was like an oven.

We are going camping as the weather is going to be so lovely and our group are at Uckfield in a lovely field on the outskirts of town. It will be good to meet up with everybody again.

They do forecast bad thunderstorms but that means the M/Home will be washed down well. I will put all the foam over it and let the rain wash it all off ha ha !!

The fight for Asbestos in Schools took a new lead yesterday

The APPG Asbestos Seminar took place yesterday at TUC London

IATP was there delivering a solution to be delivered to schools via JUAC & Mr Beaumont their lead rep on this matter.

http://lucion.co.uk/news/update-asbestos-schools-need-action-party-parliamentary-group/

he need for action by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Health and Safety has this month been released.

Lucion’s Tim Hearn comments on the update:

“First published in February 2012 the updated report has some concerning statistics:

  • Britain has the highest mesothelioma incidence in the world.
  • Mesothelioma deaths among teachers is averaging 15 deaths per year since 1980 (267 in total). These figure do not included cleaners, cooks, premises officers secretaries and other school workers.
  • Between 200 and 300 people will die each year of mesothelioma  because of their asbestos exposure as a child at school in the 1960′s and 1970′s.  This equates to 4,000 to 6,000 former pupils.
  • A nationwide survey of asbestos in schools showed that only 33% of school safety representatives who responded knew where to find the asbestos register and only 20% ensured that visiting contractors were shown the the register before they commenced work.

The report can be found here:

https://www.teachers.org.uk/files/appg-booklet-final-17-mar-14-asbestos-in-schools–2-1-.pdf

The report also highlights an alarming lack of training held by those with a duty to manage the problem in schools including building managers,

head teachers and school governors “particularly those in academies and free schools”.

Whilst the report calls for the phased eradication of all asbestos in schools the HSE

stance remains to ensure that asbestos is regularly inspected and managed in situ.

A problem with this is that tests have shown that unsealed concealed asbestos can be disturbed by normal school activity and condition inspections are often carried out without an accompanying air test.

Other countries are taking action with regard to asbestos safety in schools,

The Australian Government passed the “2013 Asbestos Safety and Eradication Bill” which will prioritise the total removal of asbestos in public buildings, whilst this year the Netherlands will be introducing an environmental safety level 3,000 times lower than the current UK level.

Until the UK government follows suite it is essential that asbestos management procedures within schools are effective and robust.

For those concerned with the issues of the updated report, a recent White Paper released by Lucion this month can found here detailing duty holders responsibilities.”

Julie Winn said on Facebook —Read my letter to British Safety Council on asbestos in schools.

https://sm.britsafe.org/hse-takes-enforcement-action-over-asbestos-one-10-schools

More than one in 10 non-local authority controlled schools faced enforcement action for failing to meet adequate

asbestos management standards during a recent HSE inspection initiative.

A further 15% of the 153 independent, voluntary aided and foundation schools, free schools and academies inspected across the country

between April 2013 and January 2014 received written advice from HSE on managing asbestos containing materials (ACMs).

Of the 20 improvement notices served on the schools, eight were for failing to have a written asbestos management plan; eight

for a failure to undertake an adequate survey of asbestos; two due to a failure to implement a suitable system to manage the risks

from asbestos; and two for inadequate training and information for employees.

But according to HSE statisticians, dutyholders’ awareness of their legal responsibilities was 9% higher than during the last inspection programme run in 2010/11. The vast majority – some 95% – of schools had a full or broad understanding

of the requirements of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

By contrast, in 2010/11 164 schools outside local authority control were inspected and 41 improvement notices were served on 28 schools. “Over the last few years there has been a lot of work by stakeholders across the school sector to raise awareness of the duty to manage asbestos, ” said Geoff Cox, the head of HSE’s public services sector. “It is really encouraging to see that awareness of the requirements has increased since our previous inspection initiative.

“That said, schools should not be under any illusion – managing asbestos requires ongoing attention. Schools now have access to a wealth of guidance setting out clear and straightforward steps to achieve and maintain compliance.

“Where duty holders fall below acceptable standards, HSE has taken, and will continue to take, enforcement action” According to HSE, the inspection initiative revealed a number of common themes in those cases where schools were falling

short of the requirements. In four key messages HSE recommends schools should:

Ensure their records are up to date: 85% of the schools HSE visited had carried out an asbestos management survey. In some schools, however, the records were not up to date or did not include all the buildings.

Where refurbishment work had been undertaken in some of the schools that had recently become academies, the asbestos register did not always reflect current information about presence, location and condition of ACMs

Have an asbestos management plan: the regulations require dutyholders to have a written plan of the actions and measures necessary to manage the risks from ACMs.  77% of the schools visited had an asbestos management plan, a 14% improvement on 2010/11

Ensure in-house employees undertaking building and maintenance work have received adequate asbestos training: among

the schools where in-house staff were engaged in such work, 63% have training in place, a 14% improvement on 2010/11

Have a system to inform anyone who may disturb ACMs of the presence of asbestos: just over half of the schools inspected

(54%) had a comprehensive system in place to ensure that anyone who may disturb ACMs would be provided with information

on any asbestos that may be present. This reflected only a slight increase on the findings for 2010/11 (50%).

Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the findings demonstrated the need to bring back proactive inspections of schools.

“This report demonstrates that significant numbers of schools are still not safely managing their asbestos. The fact that 13% of these schools were served

with a formal improvement notice is extremely worrying, particularly if that picture was reflected more widely across all schools.

“Of even greater concern is the finding that nearly half (46%) of the schools visited did not have a comprehensive system in place to ensure

that anyone who may disturb asbestos – this could be staff or contractors – is told of its presence. “It is clear that some schools are struggling to meet their legal requirements to manage asbestos safely. Academies, free schools and

other independent schools, which cannot rely upon local authority support, are particularly vulnerable. “Against this background the NUT calls for the re-introduction of pro-active HSE inspections of schools, which were abandoned in 2011.

Without these inspections there is no safety net to pick up instances of poor management that expose staff and pupils to risk. There is also no wider intelligence about the success or otherwise of the Government’s policy on the management of asbestos in schools. “The longer the issue remains unaddressed, the more people will be exposed. What is needed is a long-term strategy aimed at eradicating the problem once and for all.” So you can see things are in the headlines to make our schools safer for young lungs and out future generation.

I hope it all succeeds —————————————–

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Rays Blog http://mesoandme.wordpress.com/

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