Asbestos and Scout premises

Date: 28th Nov 2022 Author: Andrew Rush

It is now almost 5 years since we last reminded you about your legal responsibilities regarding checking for asbestos and for maintaining an Asbestos Register.  This falls under Health & Safety legislation.

If you own or lease the premises you occupy, then the responsibility is very clearly yours to implement.  In the event that you use premises owned/controlled by others, then you are legally entitled to ask to view their Asbestos Register.

HQ regularly flag this issue up through various circulations & publications and we have now been tasked by GLN County to provide assurances that asbestos is being managed safely across the District and across our Groups.

We quote below relevant parts of an email that we have received from GLN and ask that you carefully read it, click on the link and be confident that you could confirm that the six points listed have been considered, actioned and documented:

Hi all

In September 2021 the email linked below was sent across Scouting referencing our responsibility to make sure buildings on Scout owned and operated premises and sites are safe and adhere to the relevant health and safety legislation. The communication focused particularly on asbestos management. Asbestos management at Scout premises –

The County Executive Committee is looking for assurance that asbestos is being managed safely across the Districts and Groups, and is also keen to identify if any further support or assistance is required in this area.

To this end could you confirm back to me that the six points below have been considered, actioned and documented (more detail on these bullet points in the email linked above), or if you have any outstanding issues:

    1. find out if asbestos is present
    2. make a record of the location, type and condition of the asbestos (creating a register)
    3. assess the risk of anyone being exposed to the asbestos
    4. prepare a plan on how to manage these risks (creating a management plan)
    5. put the plan into action, monitor it and keep it up to date
    6. provide this information to anyone who might work on or disturb the asbestos

John Nelson
GLN County Secretary

District will inform GLN that all District operated premises comply with the six points and that a comprehensive exercise across the District regarding asbestos management was run in 2017 with surveys conducted in 2018.  Groups were offered the opportunity to use District approved contractors at a specially negotiated fee to have surveys of their premises conducted; an offer taken up by several Groups.

Should you own/lease the premises you use and are not be in a position to confirm that you comply with the six points, then you need to act immediately and deal with any of the aspects that are missing.

Kind regards

Deputy District Commissioner – Compliance, Systems & Data

Look up your local Scout Group, because you’ve got a safe, practical community who will encourage and support you.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls