The school closed in mid-October when a suspected arson attack perpetrated against a neighbouring factory led to the release of a dust cloud containing the lethal substance. With the school’s 975 pupils put at risk, not to mention a large number of teaching and support staff, the school was forced to close its doors. Rose Hughes, the school’s head teacher, posted a statement on Yardleys’ website stating that the school would remain closed until a safety certificate had been received to confirm the proper clearance of asbestos.
Intensive cleaning of the school roof and building has now taken place, air filters replaced and ongoing air quality tests conducted, all by properly registered asbestos surveying personnel. The UK Asbestos Training Association stated that, despite the cost to the school, this was the correct decision to make to ensure that the premises were totally free of potentially fatal particles.
Now reopened, pupils will enjoy less recreation time for the foreseeable future, as access to outside space has been limited. A statement released on Yardleys’ website reports: “We will monitor the safety of the site on a daily basis, since there remains a risk of recontamination during the demolition of the factory.”
The school has been forced to spend tens of thousands of pounds using an online tutoring service, and on hiring transportation to carry students between six venues made available for interim teaching. Estimates place the cost of these temporary initiatives at around £60,000.
The cost of closure was substantial for Yardleys, but those costs pale in comparison to the potential health complications that may have resulted from an inadequate surveying of the affected area or a lack of ongoing air monitoring tests. Stories such as this serve as fitting reminders of the importance of companies, like Trident Surveying, that can quickly and reliably offer those services.
Our asbestos surveys in Birmingham are made available to prevent problems like this occurring, while our ongoing testing services are similarly useful in ensuring any given area’s protection from contamination.