Can you guess whether there are types of accidents that could occur at school? Many things could potentially happen anywhere, of course, but fortunately most those who attend schools around the country each day do so without incident. This applies to teachers, pupils, helpers and any other staff who may work there. The most important thing to remember is that every school has a clear duty of care towards all those who may work, learn, teach or visit a school each day. They must adhere to this duty of care to ensure they avoid the types of accidents that could occur at school – accidents that could lead one or more people to be injured.
How important is health and safety in schools?
Health and safety is a vital part of every workplace, but it applies in other locations including schools as well. Proper leadership, as confirmed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), is all about making sure school leaders assess and reduce the risks for the types of accidents that could occur at school.
The government website states that schools are responsible for the health and safety of their pupils whenever those pupils are on the site and cared for by the staff. This extends to organised school trips that take place off the premises, as well.
Considering the types of accidents that could occur at school
Accidents can happen in many ways, of course. For example, slips, trips and falls are among the more common incidents to occur anywhere, and this holds true for school premises as well. A slip, trip or fall could happen inside the school or outside in the playground or on the school fields.
All areas of a school should be checked for potential trip or slip hazards on a regular basis. This should form part of a regular risk assessment. Identifying such hazards and doing something to rectify them will reduce the odds of any child or teacher or another worker being injured when it could have been avoided.
Some hazards may be specific to certain times of the year. For example, in the coldest months, ice and snow may lay on the ground outside the school. Those on-site who are responsible for health and safety should ensure the pathways are clear of ice and snow so they do not present a slip hazard. Slipping over could easily lead to a broken wrist or other injury that could have been avoided if the ice was cleared with salt, for example.
Some incidents and accidents are required to be reported under the RIDDOR rules. This applies to types of accidents that could occur at school that may involve staff, children or contractors doing work on the site. There is proper and specific information available from HSE to help identify the more serious incidents that must be reported.
Accidents in classrooms
Most classrooms are perfectly safe, but things may still potentially go wrong from time to time. For example, someone may be hurt by defective equipment, such as a faulty desk or chair. If a shelf or other item has been hung on the wall and hasn’t been put up properly, it could fall on a pupil or teacher and cause a nasty injury.
The HSE provides a health and safety checklist for classrooms that is designed to help someone identify and eradicate any risks that may be present in this location.
Accidents outside on school premises
Most schools provide games and activities for the children to take part in. Many teach various sports as well. These should all be risk-assessed to ensure all pupils are safe when taking part. If someone is injured with a javelin, or while taking part in the long jump or another sport, this may potentially have been caused by negligence.
Avoiding the types of accidents that could occur at school
As we can see, there are various types of accidents that could occur at school. Most never happen, but this is because prevention is such an important part of understanding risk and the associated injuries that could potentially occur.
If your child has already been injured while under the care of their school, you may wish to know more about what happened. Sometimes, an accident is just that – something that couldn’t have been avoided. However, there are cases where children are hurt through negligence, and while these cases are very rare, they could potentially be upsetting for the child and their parents.
RoSPA – the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – has noted why health and safety is important in schools, and how safety can be properly managed. Avoiding an accident is far better than coping with the aftermath of one, which may potentially affect a child, their family and the school for a long time to come.
Are you wondering whether you could make a compensation claim on behalf of your child?
If so, you are already in a good place to see whether such a claim is warranted. The usual three-year limit in which to make a claim is different for an injury to a child. In this case, the three-year period begins from the day the child reaches their 18th birthday. So, even if your child’s injury occurred some time ago, you should still contact us here at Accident Advice Helpline to find out more information.
There are many types of accidents that could occur at school. You can find out today whether your child’s injury may lead to a compensation award being paid. Just call 0800 689 0500 now, or call 0333 500 0993 from your mobile. Either way, you are just a few moments away from chatting with a friendly advisor who can take your details and provide you with no-obligation advice. Be sure you know what to do and whether we could help you proceed with a no-win, no-fee claim that means you’re at no risk at all. We’re here to give you the help you’re looking for.
Date Published: 10th August 2016
Author: Lynne Bell