Bus driver axed for eating Grape

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Tomonthetrain

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http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4211909/Bus-driver-sacked-for-eating-grape-in-barmy-health-and-safety-row.html

The Sun said:
Grandad sacked for breaching barmy health and safety rules

A BUS driver has been sacked for eating a GRAPE while sitting on a stationary bus with no passengers on board.

Grandad Michael Shepherd claims he ate the piece of fruit as he was sitting alone on the bus at the terminus before his shift.

And he says he was only munching on the grape to quench his thirst — because the medication he takes after having a heart-by-pass last year gives him a dry mouth.

But despite his protests the 66-year-old has been axed by bosses National Express on health and safety grounds.

Mr Shephard said: "I don't eat or drink while I am driving but I was just sat stationary at the bus terminus for a few minutes and took a grape to wet my mouth a bit.

"I had a heart by-pass 12 months ago and the medication dries your mouth so I just take a sip of water or a grape sometimes when I'm sat at the station or the terminus.

"I explained why I needed to have a sip of water or a grape every hour or so but they said it was still against health and safety rules.

Ridiculous

"I think it is ridiculous they are following the rules without stopping to consider whether the punishment fits the crime."

Mr Shephard's actions were caught on CCTV which was used as grounds for his dismissal on February 29.

He claims he was still eating the grape as he drove off from the terminus, and may then have scratched his nose or touched his face.

But he says the action led bosses to accuse him of continuing to eat while he was at the wheel.

Mr Shephard, who lives in Coventry with his wife Shelia, 62, is concerned that he will not find work again because he is past retirement age.

He said: "We haven't paid off our mortgage yet and we might lose the house. I'm very worried. Who is going to employ an old man like me now?"

After five years of loyal service Mr Shephard will appeal National Express' decision to dismiss him.

A spokesman for National Express said: "The driver in question hasn't exhausted the disciplinary process that we have as a company and as a result we cannot make any public comment.

"However we do hold ourselves to high levels of safety and customer care standards.

"This incident followed a series of official warnings issued to the driver regarding his safety standards. The safety of our customers, pedestrians and other road users is our absolute priority and we cannot accept a driver not being in full control of the vehicle."
 
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TRN481V

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"This incident followed a series of official warnings issued to the driver regarding his safety standards."

Far be it from me to take the word of The Scum as gospel, but I do feel that this sentence from the NatEx spokesman speaks volumes.

It doesn't matter if he was 'only' eating a grape whilst stationary, if he was on a final written warning for safety related issues then his immediate manager would have had no choice but to follow procedure.

I do feel that the driver has been very foolish in going to the papers before he has exhausted the appeal procedure. I don't think that he has a cat in hell's chance of getting his job back now.
 

mbonwick

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The Telegraph also carried the same story, and my reaction was the same as TRN481V's.

Reminds me of the Stagecoach Eastbourne driver that was sacked after eating lunch in a pub, who turned out to have a very dodgy record and was lucky to still have a job at that point!
 

Schnellzug

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"This incident followed a series of official warnings issued to the driver regarding his safety standards."

Far be it from me to take the word of The Scum as gospel, but I do feel that this sentence from the NatEx spokesman speaks volumes.

It doesn't matter if he was 'only' eating a grape whilst stationary, if he was on a final written warning for safety related issues then his immediate manager would have had no choice but to follow procedure.

I do feel that the driver has been very foolish in going to the papers before he has exhausted the appeal procedure. I don't think that he has a cat in hell's chance of getting his job back now.
But how could eating a Grape in any conceivable fashion have anything at all to do with safety related issues?
 

TRN481V

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But how could eating a Grape in any conceivable fashion have anything at all to do with safety related issues?
I agree with you, I wasn't attempting to defend the company's actions.

I recently resigned from my job at Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire as I could no longer stand the way in which my depot was being run. In a similar vein to the example here, we would be sacked if we were caught holding a mobile phone whilst in the cab. Even if we were parked on a stand in a bus station with no passengers on board and the engine switched off. Ruddy stupid if you ask me, but if those are the rules that the company you work for stipulate then you have to abide by them, however daft and unreasonable they may seem.
 

notadriver

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I agree with you, I wasn't attempting to defend the company's actions.

I recently resigned from my job at Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire as I could no longer stand the way in which my depot was being run. In a similar vein to the example here, we would be sacked if we were caught holding a mobile phone whilst in the cab. Even if we were parked on a stand in a bus station with no passengers on board and the engine switched off. Ruddy stupid if you ask me, but if those are the rules that the company you work for stipulate then you have to abide by them, however daft and unreasonable they may seem.
Resigned from your job? Have you got another position elsewhere ? Not sure if you get benefits for resigning?
 

90019

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In a similar vein to the example here, we would be sacked if we were caught holding a mobile phone whilst in the cab. Even if we were parked on a stand in a bus station with no passengers on board and the engine switched off. Ruddy stupid if you ask me, but if those are the rules that the company you work for stipulate then you have to abide by them, however daft and unreasonable they may seem.
I believe that rule is the same at most (if not all) bus companies.
 

Statto

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I believe that rule is the same at most (if not all) bus companies.
There needs to be a bit of common sense though, i can except drivers being disciplined if there caught using mobile phones whilst driving the bus, but not when the bus is stationary with the engine switched off.

But like the driver sacked in Eastbourne, this is not the whole story
 

SS4

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This is nothing like the whole story and we'll never get to hear it so meh.

I wouldn't mind if the Sun's offices were hurled into it's namesake though :lol:
 

Ivo

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I'd be amazed if we're hearing anything like the full story here.
You wouldn't be the only one.

I recently resigned from my job at Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire as I could no longer stand the way in which my depot was being run. In a similar vein to the example here, we would be sacked if we were caught holding a mobile phone whilst in the cab. Even if we were parked on a stand in a bus station with no passengers on board and the engine switched off. Ruddy stupid if you ask me, but if those are the rules that the company you work for stipulate then you have to abide by them, however daft and unreasonable they may seem.
I believe that rule is the same at most (if not all) bus companies.
It cannot be a rule at all bus companies because nothing is ever done about it here; indeed, drivers speaking on their phones while driving is a perfectly normal action among S&A drivers - regardless of the legality of such an act. It is common practice among this malpracticing - is that even a word? - oepration and shows no signs of stopping. I really do wish I could attract the Traffic Commisioner's atention here.

Anyhow:

I wouldn't mind if the Sun's offices were hurled into it's namesake though :lol:
Can we extend this to the other front line tabloids (i.e. the Daily Star and the Daily Mirror) as well? The former would suffer exactly the same fate, while the latter - though bound for disaster - would surely break said mirror and thus be cursed with seven years' bad luck (by the end of which they would have already given up). We can dream, right? :p
 

90019

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lots of Lothian men step out of the cab at terminal points and iether sit or stand at the front of the vehicle or else get off before indulging in a swig or nibble. I assume the offence here may be to do with him stil being in his cab?
When at a terminus, there's nothing to stop you eating and drinking in the cab (though the next driver to get the bus isn't going to be too pleased if you make a mess), but if you've been sitting in it for the past couple of hours driving, it can be nice to get out and stretch your legs.
At the terminus, you have to leave the cab anyway to do a quick check of the bus.
 
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