A heating engineering firm in Stockport were sentenced after two of its engineers were exposed to asbestos while working in a school.  Schools are notoriously bad for containing asbestos; almost all of the schools built or refurbished between 1945 and 1975 contain asbestos, asbestos lagging, sprayed asbestos or asbestos insulating board; all of which can release dangerous fibres.

Trafford Magistrates Court heard the engineering firm were contracted to replace boilers in the boiler room of the school. This resulted in two of their gas engineers being exposed to asbestos when they took the side panels off boilers which had asbestos insulation on the boiler casing.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching several regulations of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £4,000 for each breach with a further £3,517 in costs.

A HSE inspector said after the hearing:  “Asbestos is the greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK with over 4,000 deaths arising from past exposure.

“Contractors have a duty to ensure they protect their workers from the risk of exposure to asbestos and must properly plan any work which is likely to disturb it. 

“In this case, Flueclean Installations Services Limited failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment which if they had would have clearly identified that the work should have been carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor. As a result of this failing, two of their operatives were exposed to asbestos.” 

Handsam offer a variety of services to aid schools that may be concerned about asbestos. This includes an in-depth E-Training video covering the dangers and facts around asbestos, important asbestos guidance in our Quick Guides library and an example policy for managing asbestos as part of our policy writing service.

For more information on the E-Training centre, our comprehensive Quick Guides Library or our Policy writing services, please contact Handsam by calling 03332 070737 or emailing us at info@handsam.co.uk. You can now also follow us on twitter @handsamltd to get up to the minute info on health and safety within the education sector, as well as the latest updates and offers pertaining to the Handsam system.


German expat banker Arnold Holle has raised concerns about the quality of English public schools after spending around “7 figures” to send his four children to expensive schools in Britain. Holle has called Britain’s expensive boarding schools disappointing, claiming that “appearances are deceptive.” and that children learn the same level of education in his country for free.

“It is said time and time again, how paradisaical and in every respect advantageous English boarding schools are,” he was quoted in an article for German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

“But appearances are deceptive: even at the top English boarding schools, children don’t learn more than in Germany, probably less. Not everything that glitters is gold, not by a long shot.”

Average costs for sending a child to boarding school are now at roughly £468,000, up from £435,000 last year, while for day schools the total has risen from £271,000 to £286,000. For parents sending two children to boarding school from the age of 13, the cost is estimated to be around £890,000.

“Learning less and paying a lot is one thing,” Holle said. “Much worse, however, is that even a short stay in an English boarding school will lead to children losing any respect for money. All in all, no other Western country makes it more difficult for its underclass to rise upwards.”

Private schools have also come under fire from BBC presenter Gary Lineker lately, saying that private schools are ‘entirely selfish’ if they don’t open fields to state-educated children. Continue reading

A recent report by The Safety and Health Environment has revealed that biting in primary schools made up one in ten of the reported accidents in Gloucestershire primary schools during the period of 2014/2015.


Out of 97 recorded employee accidents in primary schools, 13% were classed under ‘assaults/biting’.  The main cause of the employee accidents was found to be slips/trips/falls with 38%, with ‘hit by objects’ and ‘walking into objects’ coming second with 20%.

Primary schools across England had 395 reported pupil accidents reported during 2014/2015; the main cause was again ‘slips, trips and falls,’ which made up 45% of the accidents.

The Safety and Health Environment report said: “Though the volume of accidents in schools may appear high, the severity is very low – this is an indication of good safety practice.”

Our experts at Handsam have collated the following information regarding managing human bites in schools. The information can also be found in the Handsam Health and Safety Management System under the task titled: Local Authority Management of Human Bites in SchoolsContinue reading