View Full Version : liability when transporting an employee to hospital?

01-06-2009, 03:33 PM

I was recently asked to take our EA to hospital because she had the symptoms of a heart attack. This was a 15-20 drive away and although I recommended to my General Manager that we call an ambulence, she wanted me to drive the employee to Emergency myself.

I was lucky that the symptoms did not get worse (and later found out that it was nicotine withdrawals she was suffering), but I was worried about the possible implications on me and the company if something did happen on the way to the hospital.

Could I have been liable or would my manager for not accepting my advice? Would the company have been liable? We do have a WHSO, but they were not informed until I rang him from Emergency to up-date him on the situation (he had no idea what I was talking about!)

I know a little about Health & Safety, but not enough to cover this situation, any advice in case this happens again?

07-06-2009, 04:27 PM

That leaves me gobsmacked. Though I can't say that I rightly know what the implications for you might be, I can imagine though that the GM would have a lot of explaining to if things got worse. I know (from experience) that a possible heart attack will get you the red carpet treatment in Emergency so that would mean red carpet the whole way. And the Ambos have all the right gear.

Might be time for the WHSO to have a yarn with the Boss.

I too would be interested to hear what others have to say


07-06-2009, 04:31 PM
Oh - and if you are in NSW have a look at s24 of the NSW OHS Act

Maisy H
08-06-2009, 05:18 PM
While I don't know what the legislation says, my first reaction was one of astonishment that an ambulance was not called in a suspected heart attack situation.

Maybe it had something to do with the patient/employee not having ambulance insurance cover?

Either way, it's both irresponsible and very unfair to burden you with the onerous task of transporting another employee to hospital. It is really quite outrageous.

Were you driving a company car?


16-06-2009, 12:35 PM
Hi Ladies,

I drove in my own car as I wasn't offered the company car. It was a little bit of a surprise to me as well but didn't really have the time to argue.
I will recommend the WHSO to speak to the GM to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Thanks for your advice

Maisy H
16-06-2009, 12:59 PM
So you probably wouldn't have been insured if you had an accident, unless your policy covers you for work use of your vehicle (most personal car insurance policies only insure you for going from your home to work and work back to home).

Who knows what your potential liability was if anything happened to the 'patient' you were carrying!

16-06-2009, 08:24 PM
Hi Heidi,

I too was gob smacked when I read what you were required to do, driving a staff member to hospital. I agree with all the others have stated and your MD needs undertake a quick lesson on OH&S (and his/her responsibilities).

On another matter, being new to this great web site, I am learning so much about these discussion sites (how they work etc) - I notice that some members provide information about themselves including where they work (names of organisaitons), which you have supplied on your profile. I am thinking from the perspective of what would happen if someone from your organisation - the MD (or a competitor to your organisation) read your question and clicked on your profile - they would know who you are talking about!

I believe this is a great way to discuss workplace issues - but discussions / concerns etc aren't private - and anyone can read what you have posted. I would hate to think you may get called into the MD's office with a please explain (you have exposed the MD's lack of knowledge in OH&S and you don't want to give the MD any reason to hall you over the coals).

Might be ideal to remove the name of your organisation from your profile

Mark D
17-06-2009, 02:26 PM
Lynda's advice is good. Anything post in public forums with your employer's name attached makes you a public spokesperson for your employer. Be careful. Anything you post online will be readable via search engines for a very long time after you've forgotten posting it.

01-07-2009, 10:28 AM
I undated my profile recently although I don't remember having company name on there - good thing I changed it. But thanks for the timely advice and will ensure that I don't trip up on that.

04-07-2009, 03:22 PM
I updated my profile recently although I don't remember having company name on there .

It was definitely there, I took the liberty of removing it for you as soon as I saw Lynda's post :)

06-07-2009, 10:09 AM
It was definitely there, I took the liberty of removing it for you as soon as I saw Lynda's post :)

Thanks Kevin - won't be making that mistake again :)

27-11-2009, 11:57 AM
Use of an acronym here ....ALARP. By taking the person by private motor vehicle is definately not this and would not stand up. Procedure should be in place, and this should be used if not implement it now, as this should be your latest risk assessment.