Somerset Staff at sharp end in safety incidents

13th February 2009 at 00:00

A rise in the number of serious injuries to teachers has been attributed to staff putting children's safety before their own. New figures show that "significant incidents" in Somerset schools have risen by 15 per cent for employees - but have fallen by 25 per cent among pupils.

There were ten violent incidents, six cases of staff being hit by a moving object and one involving a moving vehicle. Three staff collided with stationary objects and three suffered electric shocks. There were seven falls, one exposure to a harmful substance, one contact with a sharp object and 24 falls.

Among pupils, there were 13 slips, trips or falls, eight cases of being hit by a moving object, nine of colliding with a stationary object, 11 falls and one injury caused by "extreme" temperatures, plus four from sharp objects.

But statistics show that in 2007-08 there was a 25 per cent reduction in employees reporting accidents, and 38 per cent for pupils.

Somerset County Council has attributed the rise in staff injuries to "improved reporting procedures". A spokeswoman said it showed that teachers were addressing health and safety issues for pupils, but might not be considering their own risks. All schools in the county will be given an action plan to help them improve health and safety.

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