FOI request detail

People falling onto Tube tracks

Request ID: FOI-2862-1819
Date published: 13 March 2019

You asked

Follow-on from FOI-2515-1819: I’d like you to send me the full incident reports for the incidents that resulted in injury involving customers falling (not jumping) onto tracks between November 2015 and October 2018 – that is, the 3 fatal incidents, the 3 serious injuries, and the 54 minor ones.

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-2862-1819

Thank you for your revised request received on 28 January 2019 asking for information about person on track incidents.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

Please note that there was an error in our original response, there was only one fatality not three as stated.

In accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply the requested information as it is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 38(1)(b).

In this instance the exemption has been applied as disclosure of the information could adversely affect the safety of members of the general public by disclosing the location of these incidents as well as detailed descriptions of the incidents themselves, such as our response times and the procedures we have in place, that would not normally be in the public domain.

One of TfL’s utmost priorities is ensuring the safety of the general public when traveling on our network. Whilst we make no suggestion that you would use this information for anything other than you own personal interest, disclosure of this information to you has to be regarded as a disclosure to ‘the public at large’. This information could potentially facilitate suicide attempts by revealing details of how we identify and respond to person under train incidents which vulnerable people could utilize in an attempt to circumvent these measures. This risks endangering the health and safety of both staff and passengers.

Additionally, in order to be able to ensure any health and safety concerns are being identified and addressed, there is a need for us to obtain the information provided in the Electronic Incident Report Forms (EIRFs) with as much detail as possible. This gives us the confidence that we have appropriate risk management arrangements in place. In order to obtain the detail needed we have to be able to offer a safe space to facilitate this sharing of vital information so that staff completing the reports are not deterred from sharing frank and honest information out of concern of it being released into the public domain. Disclosure of the EIRFs could lead to a more watered down version of the incidents being reported with staff writing them with a view to being released into the public domain. This would inhibit our opportunity to learn vital lessons from incidents to make further improvements to the safety of the Underground and, ultimately, affecting our ability to oversee the safety of the traveling public.

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned.  We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, and acknowledge that there is some public interest in this information from a public safety perspective. However, there are already processes in place for members of the public to raise any concerns they have regarding safety at stations, and in this instance, the balance lies in favour of withholding the information. We believe that the public interest is already served in the information we already make available on how many person under the train incidents have occurred by line when requested. We also publish information in our Health & Safety reports regarding incidents on our network:

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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