Where there are buses, there are risks. We’re talking about 12-tonne lumps of metal, after all. And no matter how well your bus company manages those dangers, accidents will happen.
Every safety incident has the potential to endanger human life and damage your bus company – both financially and in terms of reputation.
It’s crucial, then, to have streamlined processes in place for when things go wrong. Here are three specific types of bus safety incident, and how a digital workflow can help you resolve them faster and more cost-efficiently.
A ‘runaway bus’ incident happens when a driver leaves their cab without applying the parking brake. According to a report by TfL, there were 54 such incidents in 2019 in London alone.
You can easily imagine the chaos a runaway bus might cause. At the very least, it will inflict expensive damage on facilities and the bus itself. At worst, it can result in serious injury or loss of life.
To limit the fallout, once the initial incident is under control, a fast response is vital. Managers and engineers need to be alerted immediately. Insurance companies must be notified without delay. And evidence has to be gathered and stored for any investigations or legal claims that might follow.
The paperwork problem
If your bus company leans heavily on paper logbooks and manual processes for health-and-safety incidents – as many do – you’re at a disadvantage from the start.
Writing reports by hand, calling the insurance company, filing paperwork and notifying the right people – it all takes time. Time that busy staff members simply don’t have.
In a pressurised environment, it’s easy for things to slip down the to-do list, and for key steps in the process to be missed in the rush. This can create delays and extra costs, and cause problems when it comes to insurance claims and legal matters.
A digital solution
With a digital workflow tool like mpro5, your staff can respond to runaway buses in an instant. They can quickly create and share incident reports through a mobile app, which then alerts all the relevant managers and engineers. No wasting time with paper logbooks or chasing up the right people.
Insurance companies can be notified automatically via forms in the app, ensuring incidents are reported within the required time windows. Staff can also add photos, videos and even CCTV footage – all timestamped and linked to a user – to support any subsequent investigations or legal claims.
Crucially, data from every incident feeds into a single, central hub in the cloud. From there, you can create custom dashboards to zoom in on the numbers and details that matter most. And you can quickly start to spot trends and opportunities for improvement – none of which is possible with paper records. At least, not without huge amounts of time and effort.
Incidents at bus stops and stations
Trips, falls, altercations and collisions are some of the more common incidents at bus stops and stations, whether they involve members of the public or your own bus company staff.
Reporting these incidents is typically a slow, analogue process. Bus drivers or station staff must alert response teams and wait for them to arrive, as well as completing logbooks and other paperwork.
All of this, of course, creates delays to services and frustration for passengers. And the longer it takes for things to get moving again, the more money is potentially lost in ticket revenue.
With mpro5, drivers and other staff don’t need to waste time with paperwork or wait around for other people to start the response. They can set the ball rolling immediately from their mobile app, sending automatic alerts to relevant teams and even the emergency services if needed.
They can take photos and videos of what’s happened, and notify maintenance staff of anything that needs fixing. For instance, if a bus has collided with a shelter, the driver can take a quick snap of the damage and create an urgent task for someone to repair it.
And again, all data flows into a digital single source of truth – allowing you to identify patterns between incidents and allocate the right resources to prevent them from reoccurring.
Accidents at bus depots
With so many huge, moving vehicles – not to mention heavy tools, chemicals and other hazards such as repair pits – depots can be dangerous. Even if you follow all the safety procedures correctly.
When accidents happen, the reporting process tends to be paper based. It relies on the diligence of staff to report details quickly and correctly, which isn’t always a given in such a busy work environment.
This means reports can be unreliable and lacking in substance, which makes it difficult to properly investigate incidents and prevent them from happening again.
By replacing paper records with a digital workflow, your staff can report health-and-safety incidents quickly and easily – as soon as they happen.
They can add photos and videos to document the incident, and instantly alert any managers or maintenance staff who might need to follow up or escalate the response.
With everything timestamped, there’s a clear digital paper trail that’s simple to access. This makes it easier for your bus company to defend itself in the event of a legal claim, and can save considerable time and money in internal investigations.
Your head office, meanwhile, can access all health-and-safety data instantly from a central hub, and see the full picture across all depots at any given time.
With that insight, you can then locate accident hotspots, identify common causes, and create additional training and processes where they’re most needed. All of which helps to keep your people safe and improve your operational efficiency in the long term.
If the accident will
Accidents will always happen. You can never plan to avoid them entirely. But what happens afterwards will determine the likelihood of history repeating itself. Visibility of incidents, through effective data aggregation and structuring, arms you with the information to plan, to improve your processes, and save time and money – all without compromising on safety.