A passenger had a lucky escape when a bus hit a low bridge and had its roof sliced off in Edinburgh yesterday afternoon.The double decker crashed into a rail bridge near Murrayfield Stadium and fortunately the man on the top deck suffered only minor injuries after being thrown into the stairwell by the impact. Thankfully, the driver and three other passengers on the Go Bananas bus – which is hired out for stag and hen parties – also escaped unhurt. This incident serves as a prime example of the need for the proper risk assessment of business activities involving members of the public and highlights the dangers of the wholesale watering down of safety standards recommended by Lord Young in his recent ‘Common Sense Common Safety’ report to the government. In his report Lord Young proposed to remove the burden on business by removing the statutory requirement for formal risk assessment across a wide range of commercial and not for profit enterprises because he believed the they were not inherently dangerous and that a proportionate response to health and safety risk was needed. If a group of guys or girls had been upstairs on this bus at the time of the crash there would have been multiple fatalities and the tabloid press, quick to demonise accident victim compensation claims, would have been clamouring for evidence of route planning, driver training and of course, risk assessment… Let’s hope the lesson has been learned by all concerned with this incident and that other private and public operated bus operators in Scotland take note that the health and safety of their passengers has to be their prime responsibility. Health and safey legislation is not a burden on enterprise it is a positive engine of business value, not least because the costs to the insurance industry are reduced if we all take care on the roads and elsewhere. At least on this ocassion we are not looking at wrongful death claims in addition to bus and bridge repair costs. If you have been hurt or injured in an acident on public transport in Scotland within the last three years, please contact us for a FREE no obligation legal review of your case on 0800 163 978.
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