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Minibus
Policy

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Minibus Policy

 

Policy Statement      

This policy has been put into place to safeguard the passengers and drivers.

Management

 

All drivers of minibuses used by Play Inclusion Project have a duty to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that it is operated safely.

 

The health & safety officer must ensure:

  • drivers hold the correct licence to drive the specific type of vehicle;

  • drivers are trained;

  • drivers are fit to drive;

  • the trips are properly planned & risk assessed. 

 

It is the Activity Coordinator’s responsibility to ensure all children behave appropriately whilst on the minibus. 

 

Risk

 

Play Inclusion Project has a generic written risk assessment for the use of a minibus which is reviewed and updated annually by the Charity Manager.

        

Individual risk assessments are undertaken for children with complex behaviours. These risk assessments will determine the level and type of supervision required for each particular journey.

            

Checks

 

The minibus driver should check with the school / agency that the insurance policy covers the use of the vehicle intended to be used by Play Inclusion Project.

            

The driver must check the vehicle before and after each journey, ensuring that the checklist has been fully completed including mileage and details of the journey undertaken.

    

Passenger care

 

Activity Coordinators and drivers have a duty and responsibility to care for the passengers.

 

Health & Safety Officer’s responsibility:

  • produce risk assessments for each minibus trip.  These could be generic assessments for regular trips or specific assessments for one-off trips

  • the risk assessment will include the level and type of supervision required on the minibus for any particular journey

  • ensure the minibus is suitable for the needs of the passengers in particular wheelchair users

  • ensure all drivers are properly trained and re-assessed regularly

  • ensure all passengers have a seat and a seat belt

  • ensure journeys are properly planned with adequate rest stops

  • ensure drivers and support staff know the emergency procedures

  • ensure drivers and support staff follow policy for the safe loading and off loading of children and equipment.

 

Mobile Phones

 

Activity Coordinators will carry a mobile phone on the minibus. It should be kept and used only by the Activity Coordinator and group supervisors.  Drivers who have a mobile phone must not use it whilst driving.   

                  

Group Supervisor’s/driver's responsibilities:

  • ensure all luggage, equipment and folded wheelchairs are safely anchored/stored

  • ensure the doors are closed, but not locked, before moving off

  • ensure that journey details are left with a nominated person

  • ensure that aisles and exits are clear

  • ensure that all passengers wear the seat belt.

Emergency equipment

 

Every minibus must, by law, carry a British Standard foam fire extinguisher.

 

Regulations also specify that a suitably equipped and clearly marked first aid box is kept readily available and in good condition.  Both of these items should be provided and maintained by the owner. 

 

Fire hazards

 

In the event of a fire, passengers must be evacuated first by the driver/Activity Coordinator and moved as far away from the vehicle as possible.  They should be kept under close supervision whilst the fire is put out, repairs undertaken and/or a replacement vehicle arrives.   Under bonnet fires must never be tackled by the driver but left to the Fire Brigade.   Fire extinguishers should be checked regularly by the owner.

Equipment

 

Bags and equipment can be carried in the vehicle, however, it must be securely stored and evenly distributed and must not obstruct the aisles.               

 

Checklists 

 

Before the journey :

  • plan the journey - allow sufficient time and plan breaks;

  • decide which passengers will sit where and provide a seating plan to the base contact. 

  • ensure all passengers wear seat belts;

  • do not exceed the carrying capacity of the bus;

 

During the journey:

  • check that doors are firmly shut - that no bags or clothing are caught in the doors;

  • check that all bags are secured and that gangways and exits are clear;

  • do not allow boisterous play;

  • enforce a no smoking and no food or drink rule;

  • inform parents and base contact if there is a serious delay in your planned arrival time;

  • do not leave children unaccompanied in the bus;

  • if you breakdown or have an accident, ensure the children and young people's safety - do not leave them unaccompanied.  This is paramount;

  • if there is even a small risk of fire, evacuate the bus and move the children to a safe distance;

  • if you break down on the motorway, only stop on the hard shoulder, as far away from the carriageway and passing traffic as possible.

 

After the journey:

  • ensure children do not leave the vehicle until it is at a complete standstill;

  • always park so that children are stepping onto a pavement, not onto the road, where possible;

  • ensure children are supervised when leaving the vehicle;

  • take particular care when reversing if children are nearby;

  • do not leave children alone if no-one has arrived to collect them;

  • report any problems to the minibus owner/manager.

 

Emergency Breakdown / Accident Procedure

  • Children and support staff should disembark from the side door (if possible) and congregate away from the vehicle on the hard shoulder / verge as far away from the oncoming traffic as possible.

  • Contact the AA/Breakdown service for assistance                   

  • If you have a puncture, do not attempt to change the wheel.  Contact the AA / rescue services.

Updated August 2022

By Joanne Barnes

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