A team from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has given the go-ahead for Combermere School to be re-occupied by students and staff.
The two-member team, comprising Industrial Hygiene Team Leader, Gregory Burr and Industrial Hygienist, Leonard Zwack, spent two and a half days evaluating the indoor environmental quality at the secondary school and presented an informal report to the Ministries of Health and Education today.
Mr. Burr said that, based on the team???s findings, there was ???no reason why the building can???t be re-occupied???, but, he highlighted the need for ongoing maintenance issues to be addressed, some of which, he said, were long standing in nature.
He noted that at the time of his evaluation, considerable work had already been done at Combermere and his findings were based on the conditions which he saw when he arrived.
The team detected no gas odours at the school. They however pointed to the need for continuous maintenance to deal with issues such as the isolated incidents of mould and moisture which were identified and dust from an accumulation of stored unused equipment.
Mr. Burr emphasized the need for constant communication between stakeholders to ensure that issues such as these were addressed early. He promised that the team???s full report would be ready within a month???s time and an interim report will be forwarded in about one week.??The visit to Barbados by the CDC experts was facilitated by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) at the request of the Ministry of Health.
The meeting chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Tennyson Springer and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, June Chandler, was also attended by representatives of both Ministries, Combermere School and its Parent Teacher Association, the Barbados Secondary Teachers??? Union, the Ministry of Labour, the Environmental Protection Department, the Ministry of Housing and the Pan American Health Organization.
Mr. Springer thanked PAHO and the CDC experts for their speedy response to the Ministry???s request for assistance, while, Ms. Chandler promised that the maintenance issues would be given high priority by the Ministry of Education.