Train Staff Not Allowed To Give Medical Help To Passengers

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 163 months ago
Train Staff Not Allowed To Give Medical Help To Passengers

If you're feeling at all unwell don't travel by First Capital Connect, or make sure there's a qualified first aider in your carriage. After a man collapsed at St Alban's station a few weeks ago and FCC staff said they didn't have first aid training, witness Rachel Hughes has been told by the TOC that some staff did have the necessary skills - of course they do, anyone's who's worked anywhere knows companies have an obligation to train some first aiders - but at FCC, that training does not allow staff to treat passengers.

This is a swingeing reading of the law. Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 (oh yeah, we're getting into legislation now) says companies only have to make provision for their employees. So FCC is legally in the right. Morally however... HSE guidance "strongly recommends that non-employees are included in an assessment of first-aid needs and that provision is made for them". This is the principle that covers children in schools, and we definitely had our grazed knees and bumped heads looked after post-1981.

Is FCC's refusal to extend first aid care to its paying passengers an example of the creeping fear of litigation, spreading from the United States, or them simply not being willing to provide whatever training or insurance cover is necessary? Surely, rather than relying on members of the public, employees of a company that comes into contact with thousands of people every day (some packed into hot, cramped carriages) should be able to put someone into the recovery position until an ambulance arrives?

Last Updated 22 September 2010