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Most of us have used or at least seen an accident book at one point or another in our lives, but how much do you know about the role of an accident book in a school setting? Accident books are a key part of health and safety provisions for both staff and students, and learning more about them can help you to make the most of your school’s accident recording facilities. 

 

What is an accident book used for?

In the simplest terms, an accident book can be described as a place to log all incidents that require treatment. For instance, this could be a child needing help managing an asthma attack, or an accident during PE that results in someone needing an ice pack. Although it’s called an accident book, not every recorded incident has to be accidental in nature. You shouldn’t leave an incident out just because it doesn’t class as an accident. 

It’s also important to record as much information as possible about the incident within the accident book. The obvious details, such as the name of the child involved, the nature of the injury, the name of the first aider and what treatment was given, are all important. These details may then be used by medical professionals, parents, or other teachers, so that the right people are aware of what has happened.

It can also be helpful to include information about how the incident occurred - not to level blame at anyone but to help improve things for the future. For example, imagine a crowd member is hurt during a school hockey game. A reasonable measure to reduce the likelihood of that happening again would be to make sure spectators watch from a safe distance.

Do schools need an accident book?

Accident recording is a legal requirement in all schools and all workplaces with over 10 employees. Technically, this doesn't have to be an accident book. However, your school must have some way of recording incidents that cause personal injury. Plus, you'll need to store this information for at least three years after the incident.


Can an accident book be electronic?

All schools need some form of accident recording protocol. Depending on your school’s size and layout, you may wish to put in place a system to make accident records more readily accessible. Some schools choose to have multiple accident books located in different parts of the school. However, there is an alternative that might be a better fit regardless of the size of your school. 

Electronic incident recording software fulfils the same role as its analogue counterpart. The big difference is that you won't need to find storage space to hold all those records you’re legally required to keep hold of. All records can be stored digitally in the cloud, ready to access from any device, anywhere. Digital accident recording is particularly useful for incidents that happen outdoors. When the software can be accessed from a teacher’s school tablet, there’s no need to wait until the accident book can be reached and risk forgetting vital details. 

Parental communication features can also make digital incident reporting a popular choice. With remote consent available, parents can consent to give medical authorisation without you having to wait for them to travel in. You can also set the system to automatically inform parents of accidents immediately, directly from the software. On top of that, you can use insights and reports to identify patterns in incidents.

Whether you use paper accident books or have upgraded to a digital alternative, make sure you know the law around accident reporting. 

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