Case 172 - Staff shortage on train resulted in buffet car service being stopped due to health and safety


The enquirer was travelling on a train and as it started pulling out of the station the 'cabin service manager' announced "due to a member of staff not turning up today, we regret to inform our first class customers that there will not be a buffet car today because of health and safety reasons".

Panel decision

The announcement specifically mentioned first class passengers so it is most likely that it was the "at seat" buffet car service which could not be provided for and quoted "health and safety reasons". If this was the claim it is clearly not a health and safety issue but staff shortage. If the whole buffet car was closed then this too is about a lack of trained staff – no-one would reasonably expect a train operator to allow passengers to help themselves to boiling water from the buffet car on a moving train!.