Under H&S legislation schools have to ensure that there are adequate and appropriate equipment and facilities for providing first aid for schools.
The minimum first-aid provision is:
- A suitable First Aid Kit with contents that fits the risk environment of the School
- An appointed person to take charge of first-aid arrangements
- Information for employees on first-aid arrangements
This minimum provision must be supplemented with a risk assessment to determine any additional provision.
First-aid provision must be available at all times while people are on school premises and also off the premises whilst on school visits.
Schools need to develop their own policies and procedures, based on an assessment of local need. Most schools will already have first aid arrangements and this guidance draws on existing good practice providing advice for schools on first-aid policies and ensuring that they are meeting their statutory duties. In particular, it includes a checklist of issues which schools may find helpful when undertaking a risk assessment, and also lists the items which should be in a standard first-aid kit.
First Aiders at Schools
First aiders must complete a training course approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Schools should request the resuscitation procedures for children during this. Other popular courses requested by schools include Paediatric First Aid training and First Aid Refresher Training. At schools the First Aider gives immediate help to casualties with common injuries (or illnesses) and those arising from specific hazards at schools. The first aider should also contact the ambulance or medical professionals if needed.
Appointed Person at Schools
An appointed person is not a first aider and takes charge when someone is injured or becomes ill. They also restock or order First Aid Kits and First Aid Supplies. They must also make sure an ambulance or medical professional is called when appropriate. An Appointed First Aid at Work training course can be undertaken which is generally a one day course providing accreditation for this role. An appointed person does not provide first aid treatment for which they have not been trained.
First Aid Kits at Schools
Schools need to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and qualified First Aid people. The contents, number and size of First Aid Kits should depend on the outcome of risk assessments made. Firstaid.co.uk has a range of Risk Assessment Kits that can help this process. It will focus on specific hazards or risks for a school and the specific needs of the students and staff. First Aid Kits need to be located (if possible) near hand washing facilities.
First Aid Kits For Off-Site Activities
HSE recommends that as a minimum an off-site First Aid Kit should be taken when traveling outside of school grounds. More comprehensive kits such as the First Aider Haversack (Comprehensive) is recommended for higher risk trips.
Passenger Carrying Vehicles
If a school uses a minibus or public service vehicle as an express carriage they need to have on board a PCV First Aid Kit This is mandatory according to Transport Regulations.
Statutory accident records
Schools with 10 students or more must keep accident records either in written or electronic form. Firstaid.co.uk recommends the purchase of Accident Books to help log accidents or the Pupil Accident Book which provides a quick and easy system for recording accidents that are common in schools or colleges. Ideally this Accident Book should be placed in a First Aid Kit or where first aid supplies are stored.