In the absence of action from the NSW Government, the bus drivers’ union, the Transport Workers’ Union of NSW (TWU), are working directly with bus operators to ensure implementation of further safety measures in all buses in NSW.
Richard Olsen, State Secretary of the TWU said “With the Coronavirus (Covid-19) continuing to spread and as yet no real plan produced by the NSW Government for the safety of bus drivers and their passengers, the TWU are now responding to recommendations by health regulators to calls for social distancing.”
“We are calling on the NSW Government to properly take on their safety responsibilities for the private and public bus networks around the state to for the further protection of bus drivers in their workplace,” Richard Olsen said.
- A 1.5m exclusion or buffer zone to be established around the driver of any bus
- The blocking off of the first row of passenger seats in buses.
- A push back of the standing zone line in the aisle towards the rear of the first row of seats.
Common sense will prevail and if required, due to being full capacity, no child or elderly passenger will be refused entry by drivers.
The above measures including our previously reported cash handling ban must be implemented in both the private and public bus networks around the state, and Transport for NSW must consult with Operators and bus drivers on how to make this happen. Safety measures must be on all buses and coaches, not just buses operating under Transport for NSW contracts.
The TWU and our members see that rear door loading, on buses fitted with front and rear doors is an incredibly dangerous option for the safety of passengers. The loading of buses by the rear door should only occur in specific sites and with full supervision at the entry point by a Marshall or guide provided by Transport for NSW
Richard Olsen said “Bus drivers are a public facing and integral part of our public transport system. This action protects both the drivers in their workplace and the travelling public.”
It is critical that the Governments and employers fulfil their duties of care under the Work Health and Safety Act to make sure transport workers are safe in their workplace.
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