Accidents in schools
Every year, around 2 million children attend A&E due to accidents. Accidental injury is one of the biggest single causes of childhood death in the UK.
Many of these accidents occur in schools or the school environment. It is vital all staff have the skills and knowledge to identify, prevent and treat such accidents.
What the law requires
Under health and safety legislation (HSE regulations 1981) all employers must ensure there are adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities for providing first aid in the workplace.
In schools, this includes a duty of care to the head teacher and teachers, non-teaching staff, pupils and visitors, including contractors.
Schools and Local Education Authorities need to develop their own policies and procedures based on a detailed risk assessment and local need.
What schools should provide
* suitably stocked first-aid kits in appropriate locations throughout the school and off site.
* appropriate first aider cover to provide for first aid needs on and off site. This should include first aider and appointed person cover for sickness, absence and holidays.
* clear information for employees relating to first-aid arrangements.
Responsibility of the head teacher
The head teacher’s responsibility is to make sure the statutory requirements for provision of first aiders are met, appropriate training is provided and correct procedures are followed. The head teacher should be satisfied that any training has given staff sufficient understanding, confidence and expertise to fulfil the necessary requirements.
Staff do’s and don’ts
First Aid Training should ensure staff are competent and are confident in their ability to support pupils with medical conditions. This includes fulfilling the requirements set out in individual healthcare plans.
Staff will need an understanding of the specific medical conditions they are being asked to deal with, their implications and preventative measures.
Staff must never give prescription medicines or undertake health care procedures without appropriate training (updated to reflect any individual healthcare plans).
Schools need to comply with HSE, Ofsted and Early Years requirements in respect to their first aid provision.
It is good practice to upskill all staff in basic first aid for common injuries and illnesses in school. This reduces the reliance and possible delay in care waiting for the designated first aiders.
Unless first aid cover is part of a member of staff’s contract of employment, people who agree to become first-aiders do so on a voluntary basis.
Duties of a first aider
At school, the main duties of a first aider are to administer immediate first aid to casualties who are ill or injured and those arising from specific hazards at school; and make appropriate decisions when to call an ambulance or refer to other medical professionals.
A first aider must be able to leave to go immediately to an emergency.
Duties of an appointed person
An appointed person is someone who:
* takes charge when someone is injured or becomes ill.
* looks after the first-aid equipment e.g. re-stocking the first-aid kit.
* ensures an ambulance or other professional medical help is summoned when appropriate and guides them to the location of the casualty.
What’s the difference between a first aider and an appointed person?
Appointed persons are not first aiders. They should not give first aid treatment for which they have not been trained. If they are just operating as an appointed person, their training does not have to comply with HSE regulations. A short practical or online course will suffice.
Choosing the right training course
First aiders must complete a training course approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
A one-day Level 3 EFAW for Schools course will comply with the HSE requirements for someone to be a first aider in a low risk school setting responsible for up to 50 employees. Pupils and other staff are excluded from these numbers.
For more than 50 employees there should be a 3 day FAW qualified first aider available at all times for every 50 employees.
Ideally one-day EFAW training should include heart attack, head and spinal injuries, allergic reaction and asthma.
Finally, all the training should cover adults and children in a school setting.
To read our article on First Aid Response in School click here https://onlinefirstaid.com/first-aid-schools/
First Aid for Life is a fully regulated first aid training provider whose trainers are highly experienced health and emergency services professionals. We specialise in first aid training for schools and offer a full range of courses suitable for staff, parents and pupils. In addition to first aid training, we help schools fulfil all their first aid requirements.