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Buses need stricter safety measures, Unite says following driver's death from Covid

BUSES must have stricter safety measures, the Unite union said today following the death of a driver with coronavirus.

Unite said that Kofi Opoku, who was based in Croydon, south London, died earlier this week.

The union said that safety measures on buses were of particular importance because London’s bus drivers were at the greatest risk, of all professions, to die from Covid-19. At least 29 had succumbed to the disease between March and May.

Unite, which represents more than 20,000 London bus workers, has called for improvements to vehicle safety to protect drivers and passengers better as the virus continues to spread.

The union said it wanted to ensure that all screens and seals were properly installed, health and safety reps were stood down from normal duties to monitor safety in garages, and for a review and enhancement of cleaning regimes.

Unite officer John Murphy said: “The death of Kofi Opoku is a terrible reminder of the horrible human cost of Covid-19. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

“With infection rates rising swiftly and the knowledge we have gained from the first wave, it is absolutely essential that all these safety measures are introduced to protect bus drivers and their passengers.

“During the first lockdown, London bus drivers played a vital role in keeping the capital moving, and for that too many paid the ultimate price.

“Significant safety procedures have been introduced already, but action needs to be taken to reinforce those measures.”


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