It may be recalled that we previously blogged on asbestos in schools in June 2020. In that feature, we reported that the Department for Education’s survey, launched in 2018, had revealed that some 87% of the schools that responded confirmed that they had asbestos in at least one location on their sites. As such, lobbying of government to address the problem has begun through the Joint Union Asbestos Committee.
We previously indicated that schools were therefore likely in the future to be a source of asbestos claims from a diverse group including teachers, pupils, administrative and maintenance staff and other visitors to the premises.
It came as no surprise then, that such a claim has recently been reported in the national press. On 6 November 2020, the BBC in Wiltshire reported that the family of Terry McLaughlin, a former art teacher at two schools in Swindon between 1979 and 1993 who sadly died of mesothelioma in 2018, had settled a claim against the predecessor local authority responsible for the schools.
The family of Mr McLaughlin were represented by Hodge, Jones & Allen Solicitors. Allegations included that Mr McLaughlin would use asbestos gloves and would also clean and refurbish asbestos kilns that had been installed on site for ceramic art lessons.