Work-Related Violence Case Studies: Public Transport - Bus drivers

  • Published: Health and Safety Executive, 2003
  • Authors: Health and Safety Executive
  • Date Added: 05 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 05 Mar 2013
  • Format: html

Objectives: To provide a summary of the risks to drivers along with successful measures that have been implemented to address them.

Methodology: A case study of First Leeds bus company was carried out to review the three year programme of violence prevention which they have implemented.

Key Findings:

  • A number of key risks face bus drivers such as carrying cash, road rage incidents, drunk or aggressive passengers and youth/anti-social behaviour.

  • These risk factors can manifest themselves in a number ways from straight out assaults, to robberies, being threatened with weapons or being on the receiving end of vile behaviour.

  • Incidents such as those listed above can have a wide ranging consequences not only the drivers themselves but also on the companies they work for as well as passengers on the bus.

  • Consequences can include:

    • Physical injury;
    • Stress and fear which have a cumulative effect on health;
    • Lost time and production because of sickness absence;
    • Demoralisation and staff losses;
    • A negative effect on recruitment because people are put off when they hear about the problems;
    • Financial loss through compensation claims – although this is mitigated by a company-specific sick pay scheme.
  • First Leeds bus company have trialled a number of different measures to address these problems some have been successful while others have not.
  • Successful measures include:·

Training and techniques:

    • Diffusion techniques and interpersonal skills;
    • Liaison with police; and
    • Reporting incidents.

Work Environment and equipment:

    • Attack alarms;
    • Assault screens; and
    • CCTV.
  • While there have been costs associated with these measures, there have also been significant benefits such as declining assault rates, fewer compensation claims and improved morale.


Bus driver personal risks, Mitigation measures.


A useful summary of one of the main problems facing inner city bus drivers.