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#1 Posted : 27 November 2000 09:47:00(UTC)
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Posted By Samantha Bevington
Can anyone advise me on the possible legal implications of administering first aid and being held liable for any damage caused inadvertantly or otherwise to an injured person? Would the employer insure against this?
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#2 Posted : 27 November 2000 10:50:00(UTC)
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Posted By Con..
I know in Ireland that the courts regonise that first aid is a service given in good faith and generally such cases are dismissed.

I think if you ensure that your first aiders are trained in a 3day Occ. First aid coarse and retrained every 2 years ...you should be well covered.
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#3 Posted : 28 November 2000 11:25:00(UTC)
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Posted By Jerry Hill
Whilst I agree with the first respondant in that as long as treatment was given in good faith there would be little chance of a claim being allowed to proceed, there are various indemnity insurances available for First Aiders in the event of a claim being successfully made. These are not as expensive as you might think and can be a useful 'cushion' in case something goes badly wrong. Wherever I have sat my First Aid courses and re-qualification courses (No advertising, so no names) there have always been leaflets for these insurance companies who handle such policies. Contact the people who trained you for guidance.
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#4 Posted : 28 November 2000 18:02:00(UTC)
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Posted By Tim Davies
Having discussed this very issue with training providers whilst on a course today, if the aid given is the aid taught by the training provider then there is no problem. A stated case exists known as the 'Good Samaritan Case' from a couple of years ago. This case I think I am right in saying, said that if First Aid is administered and it is only the aid that has been trained; and it is administered in good faith and a genuine and honest held belief in doing the right thing, then there is no problem. The problems exist when First Aid is administered that has not been trained, such as wacking in tubes and the like!
There is no requirement for extra insurance outside that normally in place for the employer, as long as staff only adminster what they have been trained to do, and are in date for the training, by the training provider bought in by the employer.
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#5 Posted : 03 December 2000 09:41:00(UTC)
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Posted By Andy Lucas
First Aid regs apply to employees and not customers/members of the public.

Although morally wrong an employer is under no obligation to give assistance and can refuse to give any medical help. This will be recognised if any issue arises from giving first aid to a non employee.

Looking at it practically if it is possible an employer should give limited assistance, ie make the person comfortable and alert the emergency services, I think it is unlikely that you would be held liable for any unforseen event. As the employer has no legal duty to provide assistance the situation is the same as a member of the public giving help.


Hope this is helpful

Andy
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#6 Posted : 03 December 2000 22:05:00(UTC)
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Posted By Adrian Watson
The general principles are quite simple, you do not have to provide first aid to an injured person. However, if you do you assume a legal duty to the injured party to act responsibly. Therefore if your actions cause further damage the normal rules of negligence apply. I.e. the injured party must show that that you did not exercise the degree of care expected of a reasonable person, that your actions caused or materially contributed to their injuries and that as a consequence they suffered damages of a type which were foreseeable. If they can prove these facts then they can recover damages.
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#7 Posted : 04 December 2000 08:34:00(UTC)
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Posted By Jerry Hill
On the last response, whilst I agree in principle with the 'author', to prove negligence there has to have been a duty of care to the 'wronged' person, that duty needs to have been breached AND injury/damage needs to have been done. Whilst poor first aid treatment might result in the third item, I would think it almost impossible, given the weight of previous respondants to this topic, to prove that a duty of care existed!
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