Asbestos in Universities
by Connor Burke
Last September, as many university students were about to start a new academic year, a Freedom of Information request filed by Stephensons Solicitors LLP to 106 universities in England, revealed the just how many of these institutions contained asbestos.
From the 91 universities that responded to the FOI request, 74% contain asbestos in the fabric of their buildings and 86% contain asbestos on their grounds.
The results of this enquiry led to Stephensons injury team calling on all universities to sufficiently inform students and staff about the hazardous material if it is found on their campus.
Kate Sweeney, Partner in the team said: “As thousands of new students start uni and undergraduates return to their studies, we are calling on universities to better inform students and staff if there is asbestos present on campus and the measures being taken to manage it. A consistent and clear message needs to be added to websites, student newspapers and department notice boards.”
A selection of the universities that confirmed they had found asbestos on their premises responded to the publication of the results. A spokesman for Bradford University told the Telegraph & Argus online that a number of its buildings were built in the 1960s, a period during which asbestos was widely used, but they have “robust management plans” in place to deal with it, a statement replicated by many of the other establishments involved.
The true test for these universities is now how they action the promises they have made to ensure the safety of their students.
You can read the original statement here.
August 10, 2020
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