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3 min read

First Aid Risk Assessment 2023: Why, When and How.

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School leaders are responsible for meeting the minimum statutory requirement for first aid. Included in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 , Headteachers and MAT CEOs are tasked with ensuring ‘reasonable precautions’ are taken to identify health and safety risk potential on the school premises. An annual first aid risk assessment must be undertaken to identify and analyse the school’s first aid, health and medical risks and plan how to avoid these risks proactively.

In this article, we explore what a first aid risk assessment is, how to do one and how Medical Tracker can help to make your school a safer place to work and learn.

 

What is a first aid risk assessment?

It is a legal requirement to have a health and safety policy for your school; a first aid policy is also required. This first aid policy is informed by undertaking a first aid risk assessment. A first aid risk assessment should highlight all possible first aid, health and medication risks likely or possible in the school setting; it should be completed with the aim of ensuring that first aid can be administered immediately and confirm that all relevant information accessible at all times, especially in an emergency situation. 

Following guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a first aid risk assessment should cover: 

      • The type of workplace the assessment is for.
      • Identification of likely causes of accidents, injuries and hazards in the school.
      • Information to help work out the type, quantity and deployment of first aid resources in the school.
      • Workforce information, including a breakdown of current qualified first aiders.
      • Recommendation of the facilities and personnel needed to meet the medical needs of the school.
      • Consideration for staff, visitors (including parents) and pupils when undertaking the assessment.
      • A breakdown of previous serious incidents or insight report into previous incidents across the school, completed using online first aid software.
      • Information about pupils and staff who regularly work offsite (remotely, partial timetable).
      • Accessibility for emergency vehicles to your school site.
      • Your first aid provision plan for visitors and members of the public.

 

How often should first aid risk assessments be done?

A first aid risk assessment should be undertaken frequently (at least once per academic year) or in response to a serious incident. It is good practice to regularly review the first aid policy and analyse with your team its effectiveness and accuracy, using online first aid software. First aid risk assessments should be done before the policy is amended; to ensure the information is accurate and can be used proactively. Consider undertaking your first aid risk assessment using online first aid software in the summer term, using the information on incoming students to be prepared to meet their needs (review the policy and assessment at the end of the Autumn term and adjust if necessary).

 

How to do a first aid risk assessment?

The Department for Education (DfE) strongly recommends that all incidents and injuries recorded by a first aider are kept in a format that can be analysed and help to inform the first aid risk assessment. Using online first aid recording software is an excellent way of having access to all previous medical history immediately. 

  1. Look at previous incident insight reports to notice trends, hotspots across the school and type of first aid incident recorded. 
  2. Identify the hazards and risks specific to your school (this can be organised into cohorts, classes or sections of the school site).
  3. Recognise the reasonable precautions that will be in place to minimise the identified risks. 
  4. Regularly evaluate the first aid provision and whether it meets the medical and well-being needs of your pupils, staff and visitors. 

A first aid risk assessment is an important process to ensure your school is a safe place to learn and work; it can also involve sieving through past paper-work (paper=based first aid record books). Cut out the administrative strain when analysing your school’s first aid, health and medical provision by abolishing paper record-keeping books and switching to Medical Tracker, the UK’s leading online medical recording and reporting software.

 

How Medical Tracker can help reduce administrative workload

  • The history of all first aid and injury incidents recorded across the school is kept in one place, abolishing the old-fashioned paper accident book.
  • Consistency and communication across all staff members (including those in after-school clubs). 
  • Parents are immediately notified of recorded incidents for their child, including the follow-up care they have received. 
  • Insight reports are created to identify hotspots and near misses of incidents (including mental health).
  • Types of injuries, incidents and accidents can be analysed easily.
  • Ensures your school is first aid compliant.

Contact one of our UK-based team to organise a demo today to make your school or MAT a safer place to work and learn.

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