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3 min read

What information should the accident book include?

A blank accident record form, showing fields for the personal details of an injured person.

Whether you have digital incident recording software or a traditional paper accident book, it’s important that you and all responsible members of staff are confident about how to use it. This means knowing when it’s necessary to log an incident in the accident book, knowing what information should be included in such a log, and knowing when further action should be taken. 

 

When must an entry be made in the accident book?

According to the law, it’s imperative that a log is made in an accident book or equivalent software any time an individual is injured while at school. This applies to any injuries that occur on school property, as well as incidents that happen away from school while the injured party is under the authority of the school. For example, if a student trips and bangs their head while on a school trip to a museum, this should be recorded in the accident book. It’s important to note that this applies not only to pupils but to staff as well.

In many cases, recording this information within the accident book for future reference is all that is legally required, providing the appropriate treatment is given. If the injured party is a pupil, you’ll need to inform their parents or carers of the situation. All accident book records must be kept safe and secure for at least three years after the incident. Depending on your school’s insurance policy, you may need to keep the records for longer than that.

However, there are some circumstances in which it is necessary not only to record the incident in the accident book, but also to alert the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Generally, whether or not you need to do this depends on the nature and severity of the injury in question. These guidelines are set out in the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations of 2013, also known as RIDDOR. 

According to RIDDOR, pupil or visitor incidents must be reported to HSE if the injury:

  • Arose in connection with a school activity and caused the death of a person.
  • Arose in connection with a school activity and resulted in the person being taken directly to hospital for treatment. Note that in this case, diagnostic tests and examinations don’t count as treatment.

Put simply, an accident involving a pupil or visitor to the school needn’t be reported to HSE unless it results in death or hospital treatment. Reporting is not necessary where treatment wasn’t needed or where the individual wasn’t taken directly to hospital. The incident is also not reportable if it didn’t come about as a result of school activity. An incident where a child breaks their arm at lunch due to faulty playground equipment would be reportable. An incident where a child has an asthma attack during a maths test wouldn’t be reportable, as the event isn’t a direct result of school activity. 

Remember, any incident should be recorded in the accident book. Additionally, treatment should, if necessary, be given regardless of whether reporting is necessary. 

The rules are slightly different for those who are at work, e.g. teachers and other members of staff. In this case, for an incident to be reportable, it must result in death, the injured party being unable to continue as normal for seven days or longer, or a specified injury clarified as part of RIDDOR.

 

What should schools put in the accident book?

Filling in the accident book is a simple process made easier by pre-made forms that tell you what information to put where. However, if your school doesn’t use templated forms, or you need to note down information elsewhere to fill in the form later, it can be helpful to know which details are needed.

The minimum required information that a log should include is: 

  • Date, time and place of incident
  • The name of injured or ill person
  • Details of the injury or illness
  • Details of what first aid was given
  • What happened immediately after the incident (for example, went home, went back to class, went to hospital)
  • Name and signature of first aider or person dealing with the incident

You may also have additional space available to record further details. These might include next steps, treatments given and a note of whether or not a report has been made to HSE, if one is necessary. The more information is recorded, the clearer the picture will be in the event of a subsequent investigation. It also means you have a better idea of what happened when you assess health and safety to try and prevent the incident from reoccurring.

With this information, you should be one step closer to recording incidents with ease. To make it even simpler, consider upgrading to our digital accident book software so that your incident log is never further than a few clicks away.

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