Procedures and guidance for recording and reporting accidents / incidents in schools

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1 Procedures and guidance for recording and reporting accidents / incidents in schools This document forms part of the overall package of information relating to accidents / incidents that is available on the Schools Health and Safety webpage. Part 1 provides general guidance on the recording and reporting requirements for all accidents / incidents and Part 2 details action to take in relation to more serious events. Separate guidance is provided in relation to school pupils. This document is designed to assist schools in the correct reporting of accidents and relevant incidents to ensure that Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) has the necessary information to comply with the requirements of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and the Civil Courts. If in any doubt about any aspect of this, please contact the LGSS Health and Safety Team. Updated January 2014 The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) came into force on 1 st October 2013 and introduced a number of changes to the previous requirements. The main changes include: the classification of major injuries to workers being replaced with a shorter list of specified injuries, the previous list of 47 types of industrial disease has been replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness, fewer types of dangerous occurrence require reporting. The following guidance reflects these changes. Part 1. All accidents and relevant incidents Headteachers are required to ensure that all accidents and relevant incidents, including acts of violence and aggression, that occur on their premises or during off-site school activities are recorded in the prescribed manner and using the generic NCC accident / incident report form ( the report form ). The current version of the report form comprises a tear-off notification procedures page, a green top copy page and a white originator page but older versions can still be used. The potential for claims of negligence against the employer should be borne in mind when recording accident / incident details as the report form and supporting paperwork may ultimately be used in evidence and it should therefore be completed using facts rather than subjectively. All report forms should be completed or at least countersigned after initial investigation by the appropriate senior member of school staff. Separate guidance on accident / incident investigation is available on the webpage. If the injured person is a school employee and, as a consequence of the accident / incident, they have any time off work, this absence should be recorded as Work related on the monthly absence return. 1

2 On completion, the green copy of the report form should be forwarded to the LGSS Health and Safety Team, P O Box 179, John Dryden House, 8-10 The Lakes, Northampton NN4 7DA without delay and the white copy retained on site in the schools accident register. Further supplies of the report forms can be obtained by contacting the LGSS Health and Safety Team on or by Please note that NCC does not use the Statutory Accident Book and that the NCC report forms fulfil this requirement and meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act. A simple flow chart to illustrate the reporting procedure is provided on page 5 of this document. Part 2. Serious accidents and incidents Most accidents and incidents are covered by Part 1 but occasionally more serious accidents and incidents do occur in schools and depending on the circumstances, additional reporting requirements under RIDDOR 2013 may apply. This part gives guidance on what schools need to do in these cases. What needs to be reported and how? Certain accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences arising out of or in connection with work are reportable to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and details are provided as follows: Injuries and ill health to people at work (see Section 1, page 3) Injuries to people not at work (see Section 2, page 4) Dangerous occurrences (see Section 3, page 4) If any of these occur, schools must contact the LGSS Health and Safety Team by telephone on as soon as possible during normal office hours. Please note that serious accidents and incidents involving school employees and/or the premises should also be notified to Union-appointed Safety Representatives if the school has any. The phrases arising out of or in connection with work or work-related accident etc are used within RIDDOR to differentiate between accidents / incidents that relate in some way to the work of the employer (e.g. educating children, providing safe premises, etc) and those that do not. When determining if either of these phrases apply, schools should consider whether the accident was caused by: A failure in the way a work activity was organised (e.g. inadequate supervision of a lesson); The way equipment or substances were used (e.g. lifts, machinery, experiments etc); and/or The condition of the premises (e.g. poorly maintained or slippery floors) 2

3 Who reports to the HSE? Within NCC this process is carried out by the LGSS Health and Safety Team when it involves; school / NCC employees self-employed persons working on the school premises young persons undertaking work experience with the school members of the public on the school premises the school premises themselves (if a specified dangerous occurrences occurs) If the injured person is employed by someone other than NCC or the school Governing Body (e.g. agency staff, facilities management staff in PFI schools, cleaning / catering contractors, tradesmen etc), this reporting should normally be done by the injured person s employer. The school should record it using the NCC report form and identify who the employer is. Note: If an NCC employee who is not on the school staff but is working on the school site (long or short term) suffers an accident that is reportable to the HSE, the reporting to the LGSS Health and Safety Team should be done by the injured person s line manager rather than the school. The school should still record it using the NCC report form and identify the service that the injured person works for. Section 1: Injuries and ill health to people at work The following work-related accidents, including those caused by physical violence, must be reported by the school if a school / NCC employee is injured: Accidents which result in death or a specified injury Accidents which prevent the injured person from being at work or continuing their normal work for more than seven consecutive days (not counting the day of the accident but including weekends and other rest days). Schools must also report these work-related accidents when they occur to: self-employed people working on the school premises young people undertaking work experience with the school volunteers carrying out specific activities for the school (Adults Supporting Learning) members of the Governing Body whilst on official business In addition, cases of work-related disease (specified under RIDDOR) that affects a school / NCC employee and that a doctor confirms in writing, must also be reported. Specified injuries The list of specified injuries includes: A fracture, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes; Amputation of an arm, hand, finger, thumb, leg, foot or toe; Permanent loss of sight or reduction of sight; Crush injuries leading to internal organ damage; 3

4 Serious burns (covering more than 10% of the body or damaging the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs); Scalping (separation of skin from the head) which requires hospital treatment; Unconsciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia; Any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which leads to hypothermia, heat-induced illness or requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours. Occupational diseases / work-related illness Certain occupational diseases that are likely to have been caused or made worse by the work of an employee are reportable once written diagnosis from a doctor has been received. These include: Carpal tunnel syndrome; Severe cramp of the hand or forearm; Occupational dermatitis; Hand-arm vibration syndrome; Occupational asthma; Tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm; Any occupational cancer; Any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent. Section 2: Injuries to people not at work Injuries to parents / carers and other members of the public who are involved in an accident at school or on an activity organised by the school are reportable under RIDDOR if the accident results in: The death of the person and arose out of or in connection with a work activity; or An injury arose out of or in connection with a work activity and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Note: There is no requirement to establish what hospital treatment was actually provided and no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent. Section 3: Dangerous occurrences Dangerous occurrences are certain, specified near-miss events (incidents with the potential to cause) but not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories that are relevant to most workplaces, for example: The collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment; Plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines; Explosions or fires causing work to be stopped for more than 24 hours. 4

5 The following flow chart illustrates the correct procedures for schools to follow when an accident occurs and according to the status of the injured person. Some form of investigation will be required in all cases. An accident occurs Who to? People at work Sustained a specified injury? Who to? People not at work Taken directly to hospital? YES NO YES NO Report the accident to the H&S Team by telephone and complete the accident report form, sending the green copy to the H&S Team. Record any period of absence. Has the injury resulted in more than seven consecutive day s absence from work? Report the accident to the H&S Team by telephone and complete the accident report form, sending the green copy to the H&S Team Complete the accident report form, sending the green copy to the H&S Team YES Report the accident to the H&S Team by telephone and complete the accident form, sending the green copy to the H&S Team if not already done so. NO Record any period of absence on the accident report form and send the green copy to the H&S Team 5

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