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MR Steve See is a Singapore taxi driver.
Mr Steve See is a Singapore taxi-driver. He reported that his taxi-driver qualification course was about one month long. His OHS duties include a pre-shift check of the vehicle (engine, transmission & battery fluid levels, absence of oil/fluid leaks, tyre pressures and general vehicle condition). Every six months he has the legally-required roadworthy inspection done on his vehicle. On-shift he takes care that passengers enter and exit safety, which may occur on-street or at specific taxi-stops. He ensures that his passengers wear their seat-belts and he will only carry four passengers (the legal load limit). He also described the procedures for safely changing a flat tyre, which included using the new tyre and old tyre (in turn) as “safety stands” under the jacked-up car and gripping the tyres (to remove and refit) at the “8 o’clock” and “4 o’clock” positions; he mentioned that he had needed to explain that process to another driver. A colleague of Steve’s, Mr DR (who declined to be further identified or photographed) referred to the business pressures of driving a taxi. These included the high cost of petrol and the "24/7" rental costs of the vehicle which had he had to pay rain/hail/shine, sickness/health and even when the vehicle was in maintenance. He admitted to self-medicating and driving when sick (for fear of a "no work" doctor's certificate). He also stated that he kept maintenance and repairs to a minimum (even though the taxi owner paid for this) due to the long queues at the workshop. He was also something of an "orange/red light runner".
Conclusion and comments:
Two very different perspectives. One driver seemed quite aware of and quite comfortable with his OHS responsibilities, another unsure about safely changing a flat tyre and the last seemed so totally overwhelmed by business pressures that he gave little thought to OHS.
Job hazards include the occasional violent passenger (not common in Singapore), traffic accidents, long hours sitting, strain or injury during vehicle maintenance (eg changing a tyre) and long shifts.