GMB Ask Brighton Bus Company Why Driver Involved In Crash On 6th July Was Sent Out To Work After Reporting That He Was Unwell
Employers have a legal duty of care to ensure employees do not put themselves or others in danger says GMB.
GMB, the union for bus staff in Brighton, has written to the Brighton and Hove Bus Company demanding an explanation as to how a member, who was involved in a crash on Monday 6th July while driving the bus, was sent out to drive despite letting managers know he was unwell.
Before starting his shift at 6am the GMB member told supervisors he was unwell but he was sent out to work. He subsequently had a major crash in central Brighton with numerous passengers on board on one of the busiest routes in the city.
The crash occurred in a busy shopping area of Brighton. As a result of the crash the driver suffered injuries to his head, chest and abdomen and had to be cut free from his cab. The driver was placed in a medically induced coma due to the seriousness of his injuries. A passenger on the bus also suffered serious injuries.
Drivers face disciplinary action if they are off work through illness three times in 13 weeks.
Paul Maloney, GMB regional secretary, said “Whistle-blowers have told us that the driver told his supervisor that he was feeling unwell prior to starting his working day at 6am, and a number of witnesses reported that he looked unwell.
We have written to the company demanding an explanation as to how our member was sent out to drive despite letting them know he was unwell.
We note that the management have given different accounts of events in various press interviews despite initially claiming they did not know he was unwell.
GMB is providing support to the family and legal assistance to all GMB members now co-operating fully with a police inquiry into the circumstances under which the driver began work despite being unwell.
We know the company has imposed punitive wage deductions when drivers go off sick, and questions need to be answered as to whether the driver felt directly or indirectly pressured to drive despite being unfit for work. It's a miracle more people were not injured.
Our concern at this point is to support our member, but we will be ensuring that all our members contribute any relevant information to the police investigation.”
Gary Cook, GMB Regional Officer, said: "The company is very short of drivers at the moment so there is pressure on drivers to come to work.
Clearly drivers are always under pressure to come to work for financial reasons and the hardship it will cause. However All employers have a legal duty of care to ensure employees do not put themselves or others in danger."
Contact: Gary Cook 07712 677 594 or Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860787973 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518042 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823