OH&S Quest Three ---- Saving a "damsel" taxi-driver in distress.
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Singapore Taxi-Driver ---- Our Damsel in Disress

Singapore Taxi-Driver ---- Our Damsel in Disress | OH&S Quest Three ---- Saving a "damsel" taxi-driver in distress. | Scoop.it
John Paul Coulthard's insight:

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 levels, 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 safely, 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 procedure 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 costs of petrol and the "24/7" rental costs of the vehicle which 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 owner paid for this) due to 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 and long shifts.

 

 

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Bridge chaos after fatality

Police are investigating if speed or fatigue caused a horrific crash on the Story Bridge that killed an elderly taxi driver.
John Paul Coulthard's insight:

 

Speeding causes traffic accidents. At 5 kmph over the speed limit an accident is twice as likely and at 10 kph over four times as likely when compared to travelling at the speed limit. Travelling 10 kph faster than surrounding traffic doubles the chance of a crash. Speeding also increases the likelihood of injuries and fatalities in a crash (Queensland Government Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety 2011).

 

Our damsel taxi-driver is a bit of a speedster especially when he is running an orange light (which is dangerous enough in itself). So my advice to our damsel is to slow down and stick to the speed limit. In some situations, such as rain and poor light, my advice is that he drives below the speed limit.  If our damsel takes this advice, he may save himself the trauma of an accident, injury (or worse) to himself or others, loss of licence, fines and even a gaol sentence.

 

Reference:

Queensland Government Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety  2011, Speeding, viewed 3 May 2014, http://www.police.qld.gov.au/Resources/Internet/news%20and%20alerts/campaigns/fatalfive/documents/speedind_fs.pdf

 

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Health Topics: Preventing Strains and Sprains

What steps prevent strains and sprains? Learn more about Dr. Troy Bracker or find another provider on http://www.mhsdoctors.com.
John Paul Coulthard's insight:

 

Taxi drivers are just one of many groups of workers who lift heavy objects and and are at risk from sprain and strain. WHS Queensland recommends the following to taxi drivers ---- test luggage weight before lifting ---- don't lift with your back bent or twisted ---- keep luggage close to your body ---- don't attempt to lift passengers into the taxi ---- get proper medical treatment for sprains and strains that you do suffer. Also, make sure that seats and mirrors are properly adjusted and take regular breaks and walk around to stretch muscles (Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012).

 

My advice to our taxi-driver damsel is that he adopts the WHS Queensland recommendation for lifting luggage . If he does then he should minimise his risk of suffering a sprain or strain due to lifting luggage.

 

Reference:

Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012, Work health and safety for taxi drivers and operators, viewed 28 April 2014, http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/resources/pdfs/whs-taxi-drivers.pdf

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Worsening taxi situation bad for drivers and residents - Global Times

Worsening taxi situation bad for drivers and residents - Global Times | OH&S Quest Three ---- Saving a "damsel" taxi-driver in distress. | Scoop.it
Global Times
Worsening taxi situation bad for drivers and residents
Global Times
Frequently we hear news about cases in which taxi drivers have suffered serious accidents, and even death, due to fatigue from overwork.
John Paul Coulthard's insight:

 

As mentioned by Mr DR, the un-named taxi-driver colleague of Steve See, it is hard for taxi drivers to make a living. So for some, including our "damsel" (Mr DR), there is the temptation to work long hours, which can cause fatigue.

 

Our "damsel" needs to know the signs of fatigue, which include blurred vision, poor concentration, irritability, difficulty keeping eyes open, waking up tired, drowsy relaxed feeling and micro sleeps, which are a real killer (Queensland Government  Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012).

 

My advice  to our taxi-driver damsel for managing fatigue is ----  don't drive more than 12 hours in 24 hours ---- don't drive more than 55 hours per week ---- have at least one full 24 hour period off each week ----- take regular rest breaks during the shift, especially if feeling tired   ---- never drive on medication (many medications cause drowsiness)  ----  and avoid using the heater (Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012).

 

Reference:

Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012, Work health and safety for taxi drivers and operators, viewed 28  April 2014,  http://deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/resources/pdfs/whs-taxi-drivers.pdf

 

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HTruck Accidents Caused by Poor Maintenance

John Paul Coulthard's insight:

 

During interview, our damsel indicated that he often deferred maintenance to his taxi, especially if there was a queue of taxis waiting at the mechanics' garage.

 

Braking tests on a poorly maintained vehicle by the  Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia are telling. At 60 kmph, a car with worn shock absorbers, worn brake pads and balding tyres took an extra five metres to  stop when compared with the same car properly maintained. In wet conditions, the poorly maintained car took an extra eight metres to stop (Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia 2010). These distances could be the difference between life and death.

 

So my advice to our damsel is that he should deliver his taxi to the mechanics as soon as it needs maintenance; he should not defer maintenance. Good, timely maintenance may save our damsel, his passengers and the general public from a vehicle accident involving his taxi; and this may prevent injuries and loss of life. It may also save our damsel from fines, lost licence or even a gaol sentence.

 

Reference:

Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia 2010, Media release -- RAC tests reveal the danger of poorly maintained vehicles, viewed 28 April 2014, http://rac.com.au/news-community/news-and-reports/media-releases/media-releases-2010/rac-test-reveals-the-danger-of-poorly-maintained-vehicles#?_afr.ts=1399548503765

 

 

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Stafford taxi driver reports robbery - Stafford County Sun

Stafford taxi driver reports robbery - Stafford County Sun | OH&S Quest Three ---- Saving a "damsel" taxi-driver in distress. | Scoop.it
Stafford taxi driver reports robbery Stafford County Sun Cash, a black AT&T tablet and an Apple iPhone 4s were stolen from a taxicab driver April 5 as he dropped off two males in the area of England Run in south Stafford County, Stafford County...
John Paul Coulthard's insight:

 

Taxi-drivers are robbery targets, particularly at night or in remote locations and this is something that our damsel needs to avoid.

 

WHS Queensland recommends that taxi-drivers ---- lock themselves in the cab when alone and lock the cab when leaving it ---- keep the minimum amount of cash and make regular deposits to the bank or auto-teller ---- never show money to a passenger, except the minimum to make change ---- never tell a passenger "I've made lots of money tonight" ---- use non-cash transactions (credit cards, cab-charge, etc) ---- don't wear expensive jewellery or watches or show off expensive mobile-phones, tablets, etc ---- use distress alarms or emergency communications if threatened ---- if robbed, don't resist, the money is not worth dying for (Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012).

 

My advice to our taxi-driver damsel is that he should follow the WHS Queensland anti-robbery precautions. If he does this he should minimise his risk of becoming a robbery victim.

 

Reference:

Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General 2012, Work health and safety for taxi drivers and operators, viewed 28  April 2014, http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/resources/pdfs/whs-taxi-drivers.pdf

 

 

 

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