Emergency procedures for off-site visits

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Health and safety
02 November 2016
Emergency procedures should be clearly set out in written policies for educational visits, and every group leader should have a checklist for immediate action in an emergency.

If an overnight stay is involved, the fire safety and evacuation plan for the building should be checked. Consider carrying out a fire drill shortly after arrival.

Checklist in the event of an accident

The immediate action checklist for group leaders during a visit should cover:

  • establishing the nature and extent of emergency promptly
  • ensuring that everyone in the group is safe
  • establishing the names of casualties and arranging immediate medical attention
  • ensuring a teacher/lecturer accompanies casualties to hospital, providing doctors with any relevant medical information
  • notifying the police if necessary
  • informing the school or college contact and provider/tour operator (someone at the school or college should be available on the telephone at all times during the trip)
  • contacting the school or college with the following information: the nature, date and time of the incident; where it happened; names of casualties and information about their injuries; what has been done so far and action yet to be taken
  • notifying the British Embassy or Consulate if an incident occurs abroad
  • ensuring that the school/college notify parents and, normally, insurers
  • writing down what happened promptly, noting witnesses and preserving vital evidence, ascertaining phone numbers for future calls
  • keeping an account of events, times and contacts after any incident
  • completing an accident report as soon as possible (serious accidents or incidents involving violence may need to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive)
  • referring any media enquiries to a named contact in the LA or at the school/college
  • avoid discussions about legal liability
  • keeping receipts of costs incurred in the emergency (for the insurers).

See also