First Group forced to pay out after faulty chair injures driver17 June 2014
Passengers put at risk when bus driver’s chair collapsed
A bus driver from Leicester has secured compensation from his employers First Group after an accident at work.
The Unite the Union member was injured when the driver’s seat on his bus collapsed when passing over a speed bump on Windmill Avenue. The force of the seat dropping 12 inches from its position caused a sprain injury to his lower back.
Employers failed to address a known fault
First Group were well aware of the faulty seat as the Unite member had already filled in two defect cards to log the issue. First Group claimed to have tested the seat but failed to fix the fault.
The 39-year-old was assessed in hospital and was given pain killers to help manage the effects of his sprain. He required a week off work because his prescribed medication meant he could not drive.
Driver managed to ensure safety of passengers despite accident
The Unite the Union member said: “Losing control when driving, and being responsible for the safety of the passengers on the bus, is very scary. Luckily I was able to pull the bus over safely without causing anyone else any harm.
“It’s very frustrating that it took having an accident at work before my employers did anything to actually fix the fault. I first reported the problem around three weeks before my accident, and I know other colleagues who drove the bus in that time also reported the fault.
“As a semi-professional pool player the accident stopped me playing for more than three months because of the ongoing symptoms and the pain of my injury.”
Failures by First Group “unacceptable”
Unite Legal Services instructed Thompsons Solicitors to make a claim on their member’s behalf.
Annmarie Kilcline, Unite the Union Regional Secretary, said: “First Group failed to implement an adequate system of inspection and maintenance on their vehicles. This is totally unacceptable, especially as it was a known fault which – by causing the driver to be distracted – could have put passengers at real risk.
“They claimed that they could not find a fault with the bus driver’s chair, yet the facts of the case are clear for all to see - our member was put in an extremely dangerous situation when his chair collapsed, which could have had serious consequences.”
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