Janet Lee

Janet Lee
Photo:Janet Lee, injured by a taxi partition.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dave Newman (NYCOSH) is getting warm...

 July 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm ET  -   Dave Newman (NYCOSH)
The issue of how to reduce or prevent assaults in mobile workplaces (taxis, buses, etc.) is a complex one.

In the U.S., the increasing use of partitions in taxis and buses has often been characterized by retrofitting into existing vehicles.

Workers, unions, and advocacy organizations have had little or no input into the design or implementation of barrier devices.

Consequently, it is not surprising that issues such as glare and visibility, ventilation, provision for emergency exit, maintenance of ability to interact with passengers, seat adjustability, etc. have not been adequately considered and serve as disincentives to driver acceptance, resulting in bypass of the safety intent of the partition.

This may be contrasted with, for example, radically different partition designs in European and South American buses, where there appear to be a greater tendency to take these and other factors into account.

It is likely that were drivers to have practical input into the design and implementation of barriers their use and effectiveness would increase.      Dave Newman
Even the best, safest, most ergonomically considerate taxi partition design is never going to help the driver in surviving fatal assault attempts. The recent CDC study shows this.

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