Working in a school, whether as a teacher, administrator, volunteer or maintenance personnel, can be laced with hidden dangers which may lead to an injury. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of what to do if you’re injured whilst you’re at school.
A school may not seem like the most hazardous place to work, but injuries on school premises are quite common. In such cases, people will always look for the best personal injury solicitors in Bristol, Bath, or wherever they live.
At the end of 2022, the Teacher’s Union secured funds totalling £300,000 to cover claims by injured school workers. So, in this article, we’re sharing advice on what to do if you’re injured at school.
Despite the fact that millions of people entrust their children to UK schools every day, there are a number of ways in which school workers can sustain injuries. They are:
One of the most common causes of injury in schools is through trips and falls caused by wet or uneven flooring. In many cases, school buildings are extremely old, and there is rarely enough cash in the budget for repairs to floors which can be hazardous to adults and children alike.
A lot of UK schools feature old and rickety stairs, and these can be an accident waiting to happen for staff who are rushing from one class to the next amidst hordes of children. In some cases, a fall on the stairs can result in a hospital visit.
Shockingly, over one in ten teachers report that they have been assaulted by a student in the past year. Such assaults include pushing and shoving, hitting and biting, and can be extremely traumatic in addition to the actual physical injury.
Faulty or badly secured school equipment can potentially cause serious injury to those working in schools.
In the UK, some very old school buildings still contain asbestos - a dangerous substance which was once used as installation. If undisturbed, asbestos is generally harmless but, if spores are released into the air, it can cause fatal illnesses such as asbestosis.
Suffering an injury while at school can be devastating and can sometimes result in hospital treatment and time off work. In this section, we’re looking at what you should do if you suffer an injury in a school:
When you suffer an injury at school, you should first report this to the relevant person. Schools should, by law, have a process of recording any and all accidents which occur on the premises, and this is usually handled by administrative staff.
You should also make a note for yourself of the date, time and location of the incident and the names of any witnesses, as well as taking a photograph of your injuries.
For mild injuries, you should seek medical care after completing the step above. However, if your injuries are more severe, you should of course seek medical attention immediately. Make a note of the treatment received and any comments from doctors (ask them to write this down if possible) to keep for future reference.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need ongoing medical treatment and / or time off work. In this instance, it's important to speak with your employer to ensure that your time off will be covered by other members of staff and that you will be paid as normal. You should also enquire as to any financial compensation that the school may offer to help you with costs.
If the school is unwilling to offer compensation or adequate time off, it may be time to seek legal representation. A good solicitor will be able to advise as to whether you may have a case against the school, as well as representing you should this be the case.
Taking legal action against the school may help you to receive financial compensation should you require ongoing medical treatment and / or specialist equipment in your home as a result of the injury.
If the injury sustained was caused by an assault by a pupil or another adult, you should also consider informing the police. A police report will help your case should you take legal action, as well as preventing the same thing happening to somebody else. You also have a right to know what kind of action the school is planning to take against the student, such as expulsion, suspension, or legal action.
Few people head off to work with the thought that they may end the day with an injury but, unfortunately, this is a lot more common than many people think. An incident or accident in a school can have life changing consequences, so it's important to know what your rights are in terms of taking time off and for securing compensation which will help you and your home adapt to your new circumstances.
A good solicitor will be able to walk you through your options and help you to make sure that you get everything that you are entitled to following your injury.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a legal professional for advice on an injury that wasn’t your fault. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.