The problem of asbestos exposure has reached Buckingham Palace, with a requirement for Her Majesty to vacate the premises for several months whilst refurbishment work takes place. This work includes the removal of asbestos, which if disturbed causes life-threatening disease and aggressive cancers such as Mesothelioma.
The latest work at the palace, estimated to be setting the taxpayer back by around £150 million, follows on from previous asbestos-removal projects that cost a reported £300,000 during the last financial year.
A royal courtier commented:
“The place is awash with asbestos, which is enormously costly to remove. The £150 million is just an estimate.”
Calls for the money to be spent on asbestos removal from schools
Opponents of the monarchy claim that this money should be spent on ensuring our schools are safe from asbestos. They also argue that, because exposure to the substance can take decades to manifest into disease, spending this amount of money on schools is more important.
The presence of asbestos in schools around the UK has been a cause of huge concern for years, and one which some people feel has not been addressed quickly enough. According to a 2012 report on health and safety in schools, over 70% of state schools still contain asbestos, with more than 267 teachers having died from Mesothelioma since 1980.
Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Kevin Courtney, expressed his concern over the levels of asbestos in our schools:
“Britain has the highest Mesothelioma rate in the world yet the government has no long-term strategy for the removal of asbestos in schools.”
Asbestos training courses are the key to safety
Asbestos awareness online courses offer those most likely to come into contact with the substance, the knowledge needed to keep themselves and those around them safe.
UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) online training is regularly updated to include the latest health and safety legislation, and successful candidates can download an HSE asbestos certificate at the end of the course.
This is valid for 12 months and helps to demonstrate a commitment, not only to health and safety, but also to ongoing career development. Online courses only take around 90 minutes to complete, with a quiz at the end testing candidates’ learning.
Asbestos awareness is a legal requirement for UK employers
Those working on the removal of asbestos from Buckingham Palace will have received specialist asbestos training. The Health and Safety Executive specify that three categories of training are required in relation to asbestos, with the most appropriate depending on the likely level of contact with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs).
Category ‘A’ covers asbestos awareness, including where the substance might be located within a commercial or residential building, and what could happen if the airborne fibres and dust are inhaled.
Category ‘B’ and Category ‘C’ training is aimed at those taking on non-licensed and licensed work respectively. This type of work involves the removal of asbestos following stringent safety guidelines and a rigorous risk assessment procedure.