Health and safety mythbusters: train travel

Choo choo. All aboard the health and safety express. Like a train on a track, coffee and travel go hand in hand. The question it would seem, however, is just whose hands should the coffee go in: the travellers’ or trolley attendants’?

One train passenger encountered this very conundrum during a recent trip. The traveller was positioned in a window seat – a fellow passenger perched next to them. A passing trolley attendant stopped and, upon request, poured a coffee, placing a lid on the insulated cup.

The journey quickly hit the buffers when the enquirer reached out to take the cup. According to the attendant, it was their duty to place said coffee on the table. The reason? Health and safety.

Regulations, he explained, compelled such actions.

Health and safety mythbusters

The Health and Safety Executive’s myth panel was quickly on the case. As it turns out, there is no specific health and safety regulation which dictates that hot drinks must be placed directly onto passengers’ tables.

The measure, the panel found, was a policy decision taken by the train operator to reduce the risk of scalding. Upon reviewing the system, the myth panel notes that there has been a reduction in scalding incidents on trains as of late.

This, coupled with a rising trend in passenger numbers, suggests that such “policies are reasonable and can have a positive impact”.

Case closed.

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