Asbestos incident

There was a potential health risk at Silver Creek Elementary when a small area of drywall mud containing asbestos was cut with a utility knife during construction. 

“Ensuring our students have a safe and caring learning environment is always our top priority. School District 83 takes full responsibility for the administrative oversight that led to this event, and will be taking immediate steps to prevent issues of this nature from occurring in the future,” states Superintendent/CEO Peter Jory.

Jory explains that on February 20th, during the construction of the new server closet, a worker cut into a section of drywall with a utility knife. The area was cordoned off by tape, the drywall was cleaned up as per the usual processes, and a walled section was installed to prevent access by students.

It was discovered yesterday that the drywall mud, which had been previously used in the wall, measured between the previous standard of 1% asbestos and the current (2012) standard of 0.5% asbestos. During the time between February 20th and March 7th, students and staff in the area may have been exposed.

“As soon as the problem was discovered, our Operations department responded immediately and followed our safety protocols to bring in the experts needed to remediate the problem and ensure our school was safe for students and staff.”

The area was immediately sealed and re-cleaned, and a qualified air tester was brought in to test the air quality of that space and the adjacent spaces.

These tests all came back negative and the site was deemed to be safe for occupation by students, staff, and the community prior to bell time this morning. 

SD83 has been in contact Health Protection Branch at Interior Health, and they have provided the attached health link file for your information.    

A public meeting will be held at the school next week as a means to address any further questions that may arise from this announcement, with the date and time to be shared as soon as practical. A full WorkSafe investigation has also been initiated. More immediate questions can be directed to Veronica Deacon, Executive Assistant to the Secretary-Treasurer: vdeacon@sd83.bc.ca