Transport | Ensuring best practice and safety throughout the road, rail, and bus network
To ask the Minister for Transport the extent to which he and his Department continue to ensure best practice and safety throughout the road, rail and bus network; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Thank you for your question and your interest in Dublin Bus. Dublin Bus is fully committed to providing a safe environment for our employees and customers. This commitment also extends to complying with the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 and all other national and EU Regulations. Our Dublin Bus Safety Management System (SMS) is certified to the latest ISO 45001 standard and underpins safety management within Dublin Bus. Continual improvement is also a core element of this framework and helps us continue to lead on safety as a public transport operator.
As part of our compliance management, our SMS is externally audited to ensure all requirements outlined within it are in place and working effectively. With the reopening of wider society post Covid, particular attention has been focused on increased traffic congestion, other road users and customers using our services. Safety training continued throughout the pandemic, with employee training remaining at the forefront of all work practices within Dublin Bus. New driver training has continued to be delivered in our RSA-certified training centre.
With regard to recent anti-social behaviour incidents impacting our services and customers, the safety and wellbeing of all our staff and customers are of paramount importance. We have a firm strategy in place to tackle anti-social behaviour on our buses. This strategy is a key part of the company’s commitment to providing the community, customers and employees with a safe and reliable public transport service. As part of this strategy, we have extensively engaged with An Garda Síochána and local community forums to address the issue collaboratively.
Dublin Bus continues to implement key safety initiatives to enhance our existing SMS. Several fleet improvements have been reviewed and implemented to enhance employee and customer safety further. This has also been reviewed as part of our internal bus design committee forum. Exterior modifications have been carried out on vehicles to further protect vulnerable and other road users. We have implemented interior vehicle modifications to enhance the customer experience and the safety of all our customers. The introduction of low-noise hybrid vehicles has also included an Acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) on hybrid/electric vehicles to alert other road users and pedestrians of the presence of quieter buses in the surrounding area.
Amongst our employees, we have implemented several focused safety awareness campaigns. A sustained health and wellbeing strategy has been developed, which is focused on employee mental and physical health. This strategy aims to provide direction for workplace policies and initiatives to enable employees to increase control over and improve their health and work in a safe and healthy environment. Through direct employee feedback, it has identified a collection of actions and opportunities that will support embedding health and wellbeing into Dublin Bus’ culture. This strategy will be delivered over a 3-year period from 2023 to 2025 to align and complement the overall strategic direction and vision of Dublin Bus.
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