April 17, 2024

Keeping schools safe with our asbestos and fire door inspection surveys and legionella risk assessments

While, for many, the school holidays are a chance to relax, spend time with the family and friends, and maybe even go away on holiday, for us at Summit Environmental, the school holidays mark our busiest period.
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Asbestos risks in school buildings

Schools are often post war buildings, and this presents the risk of asbestos being present. Asbestos is abuilding material, left over from the Second World War, which was commonly used in the construction industry due to its low cost, strong insulation, and non-flammable nature. Unfortunately, we now know it can be a serious health risk if disturbed, so school buildings must be assessed regularly to ensure they are safe for students and staff, in accordance with current health and safety guide lines.

When our team inspect and survey for asbestos, we analyse the risk, and our reports will outline management plans for managing the risks it could pose to staff and pupils in the school. In the event removal is required, we will advise on this.

RAAC poses an added risk where asbestosis present

As seen across the news in recent months, the presence of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) a cheap, lightweight material which could be used on flat roofs, puts over 100 schools across the country at risk of collapse. It’s short lifespan of 30 years, means that many school buildings constructed using RAAC from mid-1960’s to mid-1980’s now pose a risk to the structure of school buildings, and a potential exposure to asbestos if present and disturbed. The surveys that our team carry out take this into consideration and with carefully selected partners, we will work alongside building contractors currently replacing RAAC to identify any asbestos that needs specialist removal off site, and carefully disposed of.

Fire door inspection surveys (FDIS)

We also regularly undertake fire door inspections in schools, which must be checked, under the Regulatory Fire Reform to ensure they are fully working, in case of a fire. Our team will check a variety of factors such as the closing devices of fire doors, any gaps between the door and frames and the suitability of the intumescent and smoke seals. In summary, we’ll check all the doors and produce a report on the existing condition and adequacy of the fire door sets and recommend improvements that should be undertaken to make sure that the building is compliant with statutory requirements and best practice.

Legionella risk assessments: keeping water safe for consumption

At times, we are also asked to check for legionella which is a pathogenic bacteria which can lead to the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease. Our Legionella Risk Assessment will involve the detailed examination of man-made water systems, such as the hot and cold water systems and air-conditioning. It will cover a review of the management and control processes in place to manage the risks associated with Legionnaires’ disease, as set out in the Health & Safety Executives Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8. All our assessments are carried out in accordance with the requirements of BS8580-1:2019.

Where we work and which schools do we work in?

Our team work far and wide across the country, carrying out contracted work for academy trusts, private schools, council owned schools, nurseries, and primary schools. Although based in the south east of England, our work has taken us to  Birmingham, Bristol, north and south London, so no area is too far for us to travel to, what matters to us is that schools are kept safe according to the compliance standards set by the Health & Safety Executive.

Ensuring your school is in safe hands

Our qualified team works efficiently to ensure all required surveys and assessments are conducted within the school holiday period, ensuring due diligence always comes first. We always do things the right way, following current guidelines and being incredibly thorough in all that we do. No corners are ever cut, and our reports are written in plain English, so that you understand each aspect of the reports we provide and you know what to do as part of your health and safety obligations.

We want you to have peace of mind following us undertaking any one of our surveys or risk assessments within your educational facility. We work with due diligence, to comply with regulatory standards, so that you can be reassured your staff and pupils can return to school and carry on as usual during term times.

If you want to know more about our services or have our team undertake a fire door inspection survey, asbestos surveys or a legionella risk assessment please contact us as we’d be happy to help you.

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