Train Staff Not Allowed To Give Medical Help To Passengers

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 91 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


That's quite shocking. I witnessed staff of Southeastern a couple of weeks ago helping someone with an epileptic fit together with passengers. There are countries in Europe where it's against the law not to help:

mark wigley

this is totally outrageous and this fear of litigation of being sued for giving first aid is totally unfounded. There is no court in this land that would side with a person injured during first aid provision unless it was proven that the first aider was acting recklessly, acted outside their training or didnt do what a reasonable person would. Its just another example of people hiding behind things to avoid doing what is right, similar to the rubbish you hear in the papers about "elf and safety". The law in this country in he main protects those who act sensibly and prudently to try and help other people in difficult situations. FCC should be totally ashamed of themselves considering that the person involved could have been one of their paying customers. shows how much they care! why not take a first aid course at www.firstaid-training-london.c....


Actually, all companies - public facing or not - are required by law to train some first aiders on their staff. Ask around your office, there'll be a first aider on your floor. As I said in the post, it's whether that first aid is extended to non-employees that's the issue. However, if a company's purpose is to deal with the public and staff are specifically barred from offering their skills to said public, that is weird and, I think, shocking.


are these stories related in any way?