Returning to Work
What you can do-some
coach operators look forward to the reopening of our schools to help kick
start their businesses. Unfortunately there remains a great deal of
uncertainty around the numbers of pupils that will be allowed to attend our
schools, how many can be transported on school buses, how many schools will
re-open, or if any will open at all!
conversations being aired on the media and in the press raises questions
around the safety of the teachers and the pupils and rightly so.
These conversations have pointed up various difficulties but little of any
solutions or indeed any willingness to seek out solutions. Many businesses
are now open because they have worked hard to find solutions. They have put
in place at great cost to themselves, protections for their staff, their
customers and, sometimes forgotten, themselves! Why? Because their livelihoods
depend on finding solutions to problems, perhaps it is time for this kind
of mentality to prevail across all sectors?
risks everyday. Some of us have high risk occupations. Most of
us travel everyday, by car, by air, by sea, by bicycle even walking!
Why do we take these risks? We balance the risk against our need to
work, to travel, to enjoy our lives, to experience new places, new
pastimes, new sports, to learn. Carrying passengers is high risk. How
have we balanced that risk? We maintain our buses in top class
working order, we do pre-journey vehicle checks everyday and every time we
set out on new journey, we perform safety checks on each and every bus in
the country everyday - in this way and in so far is at all possible
we take out the mechanical fault that may cause an accident. We
train our drivers, they must do annual refresher courses, we plan the
route, we check the weather, all of this is called Risk Management and
helps to balance the risk for those taking the risk, including the
insurers of these risks!
poses risk. We need, indeed we must find solutions to the risk it poses to
us. We cannot allow it dictate to our lives. We can protect ourselves, our
families, our passengers, our pupils and go on. This will take great
efforts by us all but we must all make this effort!
Hints later in this News Update
FOTO/ibus plc has
continued to lobby Government across various Departments, Ministers and
agencies. The Covid 19 lockdown and now the gradual relaxation of
restrictions creates different sets of challenges for bus and coach
operators. Click here to view the various letters and proposals that
FOTO/ibus plc has issued to represent the interests and the concerns of
small to medium private bus and coach operations through these challenges.
We appreciate the response of many operators to our efforts and we thank
the various individual operators who have used their influence to highlight
our work and used our material to promote our efforts. The latest
collective of operators created by the Covid 19 concerns, Irish Private
& Dublin Bus School Run Operators, have been most active on Facebook
and through their local elected politicians. I thank them for their support.
FOTO works through the years on all types of topics, some not so
interesting! It helps greatly when a group such as this wades in to help on
a particularly crucial topic such as this awful virus and it’s
consequences Our latest proposals have put figures to the level of
support we deem appropriate to help most operators return their vehicles
and their businesses to the schools transport network, we are one of a very
few industries/businesses to do this which we hope will help speed up the
process of the releasing of funds. See
the letters to the Government here.
New Government Formation:
As we write the joint
document agreed by the Green Party, Fianna Fail and Fianna Gael goes to
their respective party members to vote on. Hopefully we will see a stable
Government from this and that our country can meet the many challenges
ahead including the almost forgotten big one, Brexit.
Whereas we have not seen
the details of the proposals for the passenger transport the general view
is that this sector will have a high profile and ambitious plans for
greater use of buses and public transport. FOTO/iBus will be keeping a
close eye on any opportunities that arise. It may now well be the time for
the small to medium operators to come together under the business arm of
FOTO through a shareholding in iBus plc. The Directors of iBus plc will
meet to discuss the options that best suit such a departure for the
company. Financing iBus plc through small to medium bus and coach operators
at this time post Covid 19 and the loss of incomes brought about by the
lock-down will be a major challenge.
We must make the call,
expect this call in the next month or so!
have been at the forefront of advising bus and coach operators on how best
to reduce costs due to the reduced use of their vehicles through the Covid
19 restrictions. Over 3,000 buses and coaches are presently on suspension
and we are anxiously awaiting their return! We trust our efforts here
will help you to return with the minimum of cost from the insurance
perspective and that we have protected your interests through this worrying
time for you.
When they do return we
want to be in the best possible position to help you and we would ask you
to please advise us through our email service of the vehicle registration
number, date and time you require cover to recommence and if there have
been any changes to the vehicle in terms of protective screening*. Please also note
that there is no requirement at present to have screens installed in your
such as the installation of protective screens or barriers to prevent
passengers using certain seats must be carried out with the manufacturers
consent and certification. This is a material fact and must be advised to
your insurer. Please forward a copy of this certification when
advising us of the installation of these screens. You may also
require to have your vehicle inspected and passed by your local PSV Officer
or CVRT centre.
We have a number of
different options available to you at renewal to facilitate you keeping
your policy live and maintaining essential elements of cover in place even
when the vehicle is not on the road. Covers include accidental
damage, fire & theft cover to protect your vehicle and employers and
public liability to protect you, your employees and your business.
This is a reduced premium that protects you to the fullest extent as an operator
whilst your vehicles are off the road. When you are ready to go back
on the road, you will be charged the Road Traffic Act and Passenger
Liability sections of cover only for the period of use to the next renewal
Please advise us in
good time when you wish to re-instate your insurance. We expect and we hope
to be very busy in the run up to the schools re-opening so if you would
please email us well in advance with the registration(s), time and date
that cover is to be reinstated.
Returning to Work:
Please click here to
access the HSA guidelines for the safe return of your employees and general
advices, provided with guidelines through our risk management sister
company, the Irish Risk Management Centre. You must update your own Health
& Safety Statement to reflect the required changes.
There are a number of
useful websites to help you in this and these are detailed opposite, just
click on the image.
Our offices will open to
the public on the June 29th and we will have in place all the required and
advised health protocols for your safety and that of our employees.
We can only see clients
on an appointment basis and we would ask to please contact us by telephone
to arrange a date and time to visit, we will be delighted to see you.
Some useful tips: It is now up to you to convince the public that
your bus is the safest place to be!
present the cleanest, most sanitized bus to be found. You must exercise all
of the protocols set down by Government and the Health experts and more
that help to make people safe, feel safe and that you above everyone else
is doing everything and anything to make this the case.
Show them your driver
doing his pre-journey check, wiping down the seats, the floors, the
handrails-put up photographs of these jobs being done.
When your bus arrives to
pick up your passengers, the driver should get out, say hello of course and
then set out the protocols your company has put in place for their
Advise everyone to
sanitise their hands with the sanitiser provided at the door of the bus.
Insist on this before allowing any passenger onto your bus.
Do not allow entry
onto the bus until 3-5 mins before departure. Board the passengers in rows
from the rear to the front. People who live with each other may sit beside
each other. Depending upon Government guidelines you dictate the maximum
number of passengers. When you have boarded all of your passengers repeat
the protocols, how to alert the driver of any issue, movement on the bus,
what happens when we arrive etc.
Government guidelines at
the moment only suggest that all passengers should wear a mask, your driver
we suggest should wear a mask regardless to show good practice and further
the image of your business as a safe transport option.
Nobody should sit
immediately behind the driver, keep that row immediately behind the driver
Keep signal window and
roof vents open throughout the journey. On arrival at your destination, the
driver should alight first and the passengers should alight in reverse
order to when they boarded, from the front. The driver should then clean
and disinfect the bus, let your passengers see you do this - major
sanitising should be done back at the yard.
Print off the signs we
have on our website, click
here to view, to help your message further.
We can get back to
business by balancing the risk.
See you all soon
And all at J.F.Dunne
J.F.Dunne Insurances Ltd
Embassy Office Park
Kill Village, Naas
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