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3 min read

Who is responsible for filling in the accident book?

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When it comes to children’s health and wellbeing, knowing who is responsible for carrying out various tasks is vital. While it may seem obvious that a first aider should be the one to administer immediate treatment where it’s needed, it’s not always as easy to know who should do things like record incidents in the accident book.

Keep reading to learn whose job it is to fill in the accident book and where the relevant documentation should be kept within the school grounds. 

 

Where should an accident book be kept?

 

Knowing where to keep an accident book can be tricky. It’s not something you want lying around where just anyone could get their hands on it as it contains medical data. It would be considered a data breach for unauthorised individuals to view this information. At the same time, you want it to be easy to access in the event of an emergency. There is no legally mandated location to keep the accident book, but here are a few options you might consider: 

  • The school office or reception desk - any adult or student within the school will know where it is if someone needs to fetch the accident book.
  • The first aid room - if there is a nurse’s office or other room designated for first aid treatment, this is a logical place to keep the accident book.
  • Near areas that are more likely to have incidents - for example, in a science laboratory classroom, in the sports hall or close to the playground.

All of these are reasonable places to keep the accident book, but which one should you choose? Interestingly, some schools don’t choose. It’s entirely legal to keep several different accident books on the school premises and simply update the one that’s nearest. As always you must make sure that all the data is filled out correctly and the appropriate reporting and filing measures are taken. 

Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to spot patterns in incidents if you have to cross reference between multiple accident books. Additionally, it can be harder to keep track of several accident books to make sure the school’s data system is updated and correct. 

If you’re looking for a solution that doesn’t involve multiple accident books in various locations around the school, you might find an electronic accident book to be more appropriate. A digital accident book can be accessed from staff computers, tablets or smartphones anywhere on the campus. In effect, the accident book is always nearby, wherever the accident is. This can avoid problems where details are forgotten between the time of the incident and the filling in of the record. 

On top of that, digital accident recording software typically features insightful reports to help you analyse the incidents happening in your school to spot patterns or trends. This could help you to identify health hazards or safeguarding issues that need to be addressed, as well as saving admin time. 

 

Who can enter details in the school accident book legally?

 

The most important thing in the event of an accident or injury at school is for the injured party to be seen by a registered first aider. Once it’s confirmed that they are okay, or treatment has been given, filling in the accident book can become the next priority. This should be done by a responsible adult - for example, a teacher or other member of staff - who witnessed the incident in question. 

Of course, staff can’t be everywhere at once, so if nobody actually saw the accident happen, the record can be made by any member of staff. Once the relevant details have been filled out, it’s a good idea to have them checked over by the attending first aider and any adult who witnessed the incident, just to make sure nothing’s been forgotten or left out. Then the record should be kept for at least three years - which, with digital software, won’t take up any physical space at all.

It’s the school’s responsibility to make sure that unauthorised individuals can’t access the accident book, as this would be considered a breach of data protection laws. With physical accident books, the books should be kept in a secure cabinet or drawer, for example. If your school uses digital accident book software, it’s a good idea to use log-ins for staff so that you can be sure only authorised members of staff can access the protected data.

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