It is for this reason that the HSE has embarked upon a ‘Shattered Lives 2009’ campaign and that Education is one of the key industries targetted. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of common accidents and what steps can be taken to help avoid accidents wherever possible.

Members can access information about workplace injuries and the Shattered Lives campaign on the HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/shatteredlives – it is well worth a look!

Clearly avoiding accidents wherever possible is important on a human level – you, your staff and your pupils don’t want to be involved in accidents. However, avoiding accidents can have a very real impact on budgets. Where there is an accident which involves staff having to be absent due to injury there is an immediate implication for the running of your school, there are sick pay costs, cover costs and of course disruption to learning. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that slips, trips and falls cost UK Education £48.6m.

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Employers have to ensure their employees and anyone else who could be affected by their work (such as visitors, members of the public, patients etc.), are kept safe from harm and that their health is not affected. This means slip and trips risks must be controlled to ensure people do not slip, trip and fall. In addition, employees must use any safety equipment provided and must not cause danger to themselves or others.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 build on the requirements of the Act and include duties on employers to assess risks (including slip and trip risks) and where necessary take action to safeguard health and safety.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require floors to be suitable for the workplace and work activity, kept in good condition and kept free from obstructions. Also, people must be able to move around safely.

Headteachers, as the senior manager on the ground have a responsibility to be aware of health and safety legislation and issues. The HSE website gives you the tools you might need to conduct proper risk assessments and useful guides which might help you and your staff to avoid common causes of slips, trips and falls.

Of course, as well as being responsible for health and safety issues in school our members could be the ones who have slips, trips or falls. Up until now AHDS has not been able to support who had sustained such injuries. Now we can. We have negotiated a link-up with Scotland’s premier no-win no-fee personal injury specialists – at rates better than you would get if you approached them direct.

AHDS members who have injured at work and members or their families who have been injured by a slip, trip or fall and are not to blame should contact Quantum Claims direct for an initial consultation. Remember there are no fees unless they agree to take on your case and are successful…and remember to tell them you are an AHDS member to ensure you get the best rate possible.