Welsh universities fail to inform students of asbestos in accommodation28 August 2014
Three leading Welsh universities admit that they failed to inform students of the presence of asbestos in some of their student accommodation
Three major Welsh universities have confirmed that some of their student accommodation contains asbestos, and that they do not inform their students of its presence.
Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University and the University of Wales Trinity St David told BBC Wales that some of their accommodation buildings contain the potentially deadly material.
Cardiff University estimated that there are around 1,500 bedrooms where asbestos is present, while Aberystwyth and University of Wales Trinity St David said the material could be found in 1,088 and 443 rooms respectively.
All three universities claimed that because the asbestos was in areas deemed “low risk”, such as under carpets or in ceilings, they are compliant with legal safety standards, and as such it is not their policy to inform students that the material is present.
Following the investigation, Cardiff and Trinity St David are both reviewing their policy on informing students of the presence of asbestos in accommodation.
Eamonn McDonough, regional head of asbestos litigation at Thompsons Solicitors in Wales said: “This news reveals shocking complacency around the dangers of asbestos. How can the safety of students be guaranteed if they are completely unaware that they are living with something so potentially dangerous? What is to stop them unknowingly disturbing the fibres if they stick something up on a wall or roll back a carpet?
“At Thompsons we regularly witness the terrible impact of asbestos related diseases, both on those exposed to it, and their loved ones.
“Students have a right to know about any risk relating to where they are living and for universities to withhold this information is irresponsible.”
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.