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AIBU to keep my child off school whilst they remove asbestos?

(52 Posts)
deendon Wed 22-Mar-17 13:25:32

So I'll keep it short school plans to spend 11 weeks during term time renovating and doing what sounds like major asbestos removal, then another 6 ish weeks later in the year (might turn into 11 they haven't decided how much to do) doing the same thing in other classrooms.

School is small primary, child will I think be in same building although some asbestos may be on outside.

we live round the corner and along a bit and as far as I am concerned I am concerned about even being at home whilst this is going on, never mind child at school.


ghostyslovesheets Wed 22-Mar-17 13:27:05

Asbestos is removed under very very strict health and safety rules - I think you are over reacting a tad - I'd send my lot in

Bloopbleep Wed 22-Mar-17 13:29:11

We regularly had days off school when they were doing asbestos removal at the school's choice. I'm surprised they'd do it with the school open but maybe technology has developed since the 80s/90s and they're better able to control its removal?

ImFuckingSpartacus Wed 22-Mar-17 13:30:26

Do you honestly think they 'll just be wafting around asbestos over the heads of little kids?

Cop yourself on.

LIZS Wed 22-Mar-17 13:30:27

You are jumping the gun. Ask to see the risk assessment and programme of works as it is likely that the actual removal work will be done outside school hours under very strictly controlled conditions.

flossisboss Wed 22-Mar-17 13:31:09

^^ what ghostys said. I've worked on sites where asbestos removal is going on. The restrictions and precautions taken are extreme. If the school needed to close the HSE would say so.

harderandharder2breathe Wed 22-Mar-17 13:32:08


There are such strict rules about safely removing asbestos, the school wouldn't be staying open if the children were at risk

TheProblemOfSusan Wed 22-Mar-17 13:32:35

I think they have much better technology for doing this these days but I think I'd probably want to see detailed accounts of how they're going to protect the children and staff, and what their contingency plans are in case of procedures being breached either in minor or major ways.

pinkie1982 Wed 22-Mar-17 13:32:48

No, you are worrying too much. I work within lung cancer and my DP used to work in an asbestos removal company. Any internal work done will be sheeted off and decontamination units will be brought in so that the removal specialists shower and change in these units so no asbestos will be spread outside of the area they are working in. Most old concrete has asbestos within it (think old waste pipes/corregated sheet roofing) and will not be broken if unnecessary. They have to follow strict procedures under the HSE so will not be a threat to you or the children.
Your house probably has it in. Loads of things do - brake linings, artex ect. No need to over react x

WhiskyChick Wed 22-Mar-17 13:32:52

Any asbestos removal is a fairly major operation. It's very strictly controlled and there is likely to be testing throughout to ensure there is no fibre contamination to non-work areas. I imagine the school will allow you to review the company risk assessments and work controls if you have concerns. It also depends what kind of asbestos they are removing. If the building is being kept open it sounds like it's solid sheets which are much lower risk than anything with loose fibres. Remember asbestos is also used in a lot of artex ceilings and people damage them with little thought to the long term effects

MiriamWebster Wed 22-Mar-17 13:33:20

We recently had some asbestos removal from below our 1930's house - it was like a futuristic scene - they were kitted in space suits with wash rooms and had set up plastic air tight tents and the removed stuff was sealed and contained.

Clearly the hazardous materials standards are very high. It cost us an absolute fortune and I can see why.

We were not at any risk. I'm sure the school would be forced to conduct risk assessment and would not take any exposure risks.

DaisyQueen Wed 22-Mar-17 13:33:31

I think yabu sorry. Asbestos removal is done under the strictest health and safety conditions. It just seems like a total overreaction imo to keep your dc off school.

Greatwhiteworld Wed 22-Mar-17 13:34:44

There is no way the HSA would allow the school to stay open if there was a risk. You have nothing to worry about

MiriamWebster Wed 22-Mar-17 13:34:55

They even take away the water they wash with. It was extremely strictly controlled.

PurpleMinionMummy Wed 22-Mar-17 13:34:59

They cover and tape every teeny cm of the doorways etc, everything is protected and everything is bagged before it comes out. They have a small 'decontamination zone' for the workmen too before they come out. I didn't see so much as a speck of dust when we had our asbestos removed from a room. They are VERY careful.

MycatsaPirate Wed 22-Mar-17 13:35:24

Why not read up on asbestos removal and the incredibly strict health and safety guidelines before going into a full blown panic mode.

pasturesgreen Wed 22-Mar-17 13:36:32


As PPs have said, the removal of asbestos is heavily regulated, for the security of the workers if nothing else. The children will be fine.

Sunnysky2016 Wed 22-Mar-17 13:38:48

^^echoing what PP have said- it's heavily regulated so will be no risk and you are way over reacting

countingkids123 Wed 22-Mar-17 13:39:34

I don't know to be honest. We recently sold a car to a chap who was buying it purely because he and his wife were being put up in an out of town hotel while work was done to his house to remove asbestos. That was under instruction from the insurance company.

I think my gut feeling would be to keep my children away. I guess it would also depend on the school. Where ds1 is currently schooled they seem to be on top of things, but I wouldn't trust his previous school in this situation. I know they will have procedures in place but damage from asbestos exposure doesn't appear until much later on.

If I didn't feel comfortable and the school had an issue with me keeping the kids away, I would de-register them with a view to EHE until I was certain that the risk had passed. Then look to sending them back (assuming they weren't oversubscribed and their places had been offered to kids on a waiting list)

But that's just me. You know your kids and you know how the school operates.

specialsubject Wed 22-Mar-17 13:45:57

The people doing the work won't want to take risks and so will set up all the right precautions. Not unreasonable to ask what is being done to set your mind at rest, especially as you live nearby.

Keeping the kid off school for 11 weeks is not reasonable.

zippey Wed 22-Mar-17 13:46:36

Asbestos use isn't banned in the USA.

Dumbo412 Wed 22-Mar-17 13:50:39

Considering the regulations for works with asbestos I seriously would not even think about keeping them off of school for this.

There are so many regulations that they need to impose.

They are also removing it, not breaking it up, that's when there is danger, but your children are very unlikely to be affected by this.

If you are seriously concerned about this, I would speak to the school and ask which member of staff will be the point of contact for those dealing with the building works, explain you are interested in the precautions that are in place for the children's safety whilst these works are ongoing, at a push you could see their method statements which should be available from the site manager.

I do want to warn you, you will be a bit of a nuisance.

Wannabehermit Wed 22-Mar-17 13:52:53

My daughter's​ school needed some flooring which contained asbestos removing. If it's a state school the local authority will be involved and all the health and safety folk. Her school was only allowed to get the work done that involved the asbestos removal during the six week holiday. If it's a school they won't be get any old cowboys in to rip it out.

Jenny70 Wed 22-Mar-17 13:54:10

I am familiar with the safety protocols for asbestos removal.

Our school removed asbestos and I said I would be removing my child for that period - after a heated public meeting and several governors removed their own children from the school, the timing was changed.

Any mistake (and we are all human) would have resulted in asbestos exposure to reception aged children, developing lungs for a substance with a no acceptable exposure limit.

My son's class was immediately adjacent to the removal area, and the disposal facility was adjacent to the playground - any vent not sealed, any rip/tear in barrier, any spill would result in exposure to fibres.

I would have concerns, although I would have great hope it was all done extremely safely and properly, an accident could happen and it would seem unwise to have small children at risk, even if only a small risk of this event happening.

Our local authority told us they routinely remove asbestos without informing the parent body, as it lead to complaints.... <<he wasn't very popular>>

deendon Wed 22-Mar-17 13:54:48

school place isn't an issue

it is being removed during school hours

zippey I'm honestly not sure whether that is relevant but I didn't know that

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