Articles

Not back in March. The Authorities now know bus drivers are at high risk of COVID-19

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2020 by kmflett

Not back in March. The Authorities now know bus drivers are at risk of COVID-19

As COVID-19 infections rise again, various authorities are making portentous statements that we are now back where we were in March.

To a degree that is true because the Government failed to put fully working track and trace in place. In addition despite warnings-all ignored-it re-opened schools (important certainly) but without adequate safety. It also stood by while Vice-Chancellors opened Universities for the Autumn term apparently in most cases without any significant safety framework in place.

However in the period March to May we were to some extent in the period of ‘people we didn’t know exist’:

https://kmflett.wordpress.com/2020/05/13/like-george-w-bush-with-hurricane-katrina-johnson-discovers-people-we-didnt-know-exist/

There were large numbers of infections and too many deaths but an understanding of where these took place and who they particularly impacted only started to become clear to Government in the late Spring.

Mostly at the start the rich and powerful were not infected. Then both Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings got COVID-19. Clearly this was serious. Just as in the nineteenth century epidemics were taken seriously by Government when it itself was impacted.

One area which showed a particularly high death rate was that of London bus drivers. At least 29 died of COVID-19 at a time when safety precautions were less than adequate. The union UNITE had to press TFL and the Mayor to act which eventually they did.

The risk to bus drivers is now known as is what adequate safety looks like.

Unfortunately another London bus driver has now died of COVID-19. Kofi Opoku based at Croydon died sadly last week.

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/bus-driver-death-kofi-opoku_uk_5f804b97c5b6da9ba1eff10d

Unite again have called for specific measures to be taken including checks that safety measures are properly in place (drivers screens etc) the cleaning is adequate and that union safety reps are released from the day job so they can monitor matters on the ground.

Rather than  grandiose and hyperbolic statements from above these are practical measures that need to be taken to make sure bus drivers have safe working conditions this autumn. The authorities know the risks now if it isn’t done, they can no longer claim they didn’t realise the problem exists.

Below is a report of the concerns of London bus drivers as winter approaches.

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