Risk Assessment

Barker Bus Ltd. General Risk Assessment

It is the responsibility of the group leader, organiser or organisation to carry out a risk assessment for all aspects of their trip. This includes boarding, traveling and dis-embarking the coach to the risks and aspects involved at their destination.

Below is a simple risk assessment covering some of the aspects of the coach travel, for higher risk journeys an advance assessment is required, but for simple journeys and home to school travel this can be incorporated into the full assessment.

Risk Management Policy

Driving has been recognised as one of the Natural Environment Research Councils (NERC’s) highest risk activities. Research estimates that about one in three of the 3,500 annual deaths on UK roads and ten times as many serious injuries involves a vehicle been driven for work purposes.

Risk arising from vehicle use needs to be properly assessed so that all necessary control measures can be identified. Key areas include:


Driver assessment and compliance is always required. The driver is legally responsible for the vehicle road worthiness including correct loading and paperwork. The driver is also responsibility for his fitness to drive, and compliance with the law. This involves:

Observing the road traffic act and any other legislation.

Ensuring they are qualified to drive the vehicle they are using.

Cooperating in producing risk assessments and implementing risk management.

Using a vehicle that is fit for purpose.

Carrying out necessary daily walk around checks to their vehicle.

Reporting any defects to Engineering Manager.

Minimising risk to themselves and other road users.

Reporting any accidents, near misses to their manager.


Vehicles must be safe and ‘fit for purpose’, all necessary insurance’s in place, Vehicle maintenance to include, daily defect check and rigid maintenance regime, and All vehicles tax and MOT current. This involves:

Inspections required at regular intervals being undertaken

All vehicles in service to be in a fit and serviceable condition

All vehicles to be taxed, Mot’d and listed on our insurance cover

All necessary insurances are in place following a complete assessment by Wrightsure Insurance. Details available upon request.


All accidents, incidents and near misses reported. Where possible eliminate the need for a journey. All drivers’ hours to be complied with including breaks. As a passenger if at any time on your journey you feel unsafe you must inform the driver and the company. In the event of an accident you must stop your vehicle in a safe place and await instruction. In the event of a breakdown on the motorway including a tyre puncture you must vacate your vehicle and wait in a safe place for assistance. Be aware of factors that increase road risk such as age, lack of experience, training, gender, road conditions and time of day, medication, speed and mobile phones.

Overseas Driving

While driving abroad staff must ensure they have the following in place: Correct Insurance cover. Original vehicle documentation. European Union License Awareness of local traffic regulations. A vehicle that is fit for purpose All necessary safety equipment.

Mobile Phones:

Use of handheld mobiles while driving is an offence, drivers will be contacted in emergency situations and will stop before use of mobile phone.

Roles and Responsibilities


As Above


Ensuring all policies are in place and adhered to when auditing these policies. Delegating responsibility and supporting positive action by all levels of management. Appointing a senior manager to carry out investigations and Delegate specific responsibilities to Managers.

Legal compliance Manager:

Signing off risk assessments that we require to undertake and ensuring they are reviewed. Keeping records of risk assessments Ensuring staff are aware of procedures. Ensuring all new staff undergo a driving assessment. Enforcing safety instructions and ensuring a positive safety culture. Disciplining staff if correct procedures are not followed.

Transport /General Manager:

Enforcing local transport procedures. Ensuring all vehicles are fit for purpose, determining that vehicles allocated are appropriate for their purpose, providing induction for new staff. Checking that all staff have a valid driving license and providing training courses, Monitoring vehicle tracking systems and Investigating accidents and near misses.

Assessment of RISKS

Accident or injury whist boarding or disembarking – Low – The coach should only be loaded or exited in a safe location and curb side. In the event curb side is not possible passengers should wait for instruction and be seen from the vehicle from staff. All passengers should take their time whilst boarding and disembarking and watch their step. If a passenger does not feel able to load or leave the coach safely, they should notify the driver for instruction. All aspects of arriving and leaving the location of the coach should be considered and assessed by the group organiser prior to travel.

Injury or Death from a road traffic accident – Low – RTA’s are not always avoidable, to ensure that all passengers are as safe as possible they should be wearing seatbelts at all times, all luggage should be stowed away properly (large bags not in cabin, no obstruction to aisle or exits and no dangerous objects to be stowed on-board), passengers should familiarise themselves with marked emergency exits when boarding, driver’s should abide by traffic laws and driving hours and should ensure clear communication with themselves and the group leaders so the other passengers can receive clear instruction.

Injury or death following collision in the event of a motorway breakdown – medium – Where possible a broken-down vehicle should always be limped to the next junction or services, with the next option being sos layby or hard shoulder. A live lane of traffic is dangerous and a last resort in an emergency. Passengers should only disembark via emergency exits in an emergency where the vehicle needs evacuating, not in the event of break down where no immediate risk is present. If the vehicle is off the road, the driver can assess the situation and make arrangement. If the vehicle is still on the carriageway or hard shoulder the driver and group operator need to co-operate in ensuring the passengers are in the safest place possible, this if possible is the verge behind the barrier. The group leader then needs to do a head count to ensure all passengers are off the vehicle whilst the driver assesses the situation and plans.

Injury or Death following a non-motorway break-down – Medium – Limp vehicle to a place of safety if possible. Emergency Exits are only for emergency evacuation and not for break-down if there is no immediate danger. Whilst the driver assesses the situation and make alternate arrangements the group leader should dis-embark the passengers from the coach if possible and perform a head count. If there are no safe places to move the passengers to the if possible and perform a head count. If there are no safe places to move the passengers to the should be moved towards the front of the vehicle.

Risk of being hit by another vehicle or a lost person at a rest stop – Medium – Rest stops should only be carried out at appropriate areas. Driver should liase time with group leader who should then instruct other passengers. Group leaders should ensure that the coach is dis-embarked safely. Student groups should remain in small groups. It is the group leader task to call register or un-take a head count and advise once all passengers are on-board before departure.

Impaired Driving – Low – Drivers are to stick to driving hour law. There is to be no smoking on-board vehicles and group leaders should supervise the passengers. Loud noises and bright lights to be avoided. The group leader should be situated near the driver. By law the driver is prohibited to use a mobile phone whilst driving and should avoid hand-held microphones.

Objects falling from overhead storage – Low – Passengers should only take hand luggage on-board. All heavy items must be placed in the hold, if not available then beneath a seat. Not in aisle, not blocking exits. If a driver or group leader instructs you that an item is to go in the hold you must respect this for the safety of all passengers.