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Complaint results in asbestos reprimand for school

25 July 2016

Following a complaint by public service union Unison, the Health and Safety Executive has issued a reprimand to Christopher Whitehead Language College in Worcester.

The incident in question occurred in October 2013, during the half-term week, when two workers removed the asbestos from the roof of a small outbuilding, according to the Worcester News.

Following the complaint, resulting from Unison's concerns that the removal of asbestos breached health and safety guidelines, the HSE conducted an investigation and subsequently issued the reprimand.

Unison West Midlands regional organiser Charlie Sarell said the issue would not have been highlighted without "the hard work and determination of our members".

"Serious concerns, however, remain for staff, pupils and parents," he said.

This was denied by headteacher Neil Morris, however, who said health and safety policies had been improved as a result of the incident.

Advice from Worcestershire County Council had seen the work conducted in damp conditions and double bagged, said Mr Morris, although he admitted the error in allow the asbestos to be allowed to fall down from the roof.

"With hindsight, we could and should have done it in a better manner," he said.

This was the school's only complaint over a 13-year period, said Mr Morris, and no pupils or staff were at risk.

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