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Bus operators left in the dark ahead of schools reopening

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By Sean Moriarty

School bus operators who service Killarney schools are still waiting on official guidance despite returning to work on Monday morning.

School bus runs are operated by Bus Eireann on behalf of the Department of Education but that national bus service sub-contracts regional runs to local operators.

One local bus firm, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Killarney Advertiser: “We are ready and willing to get back to work but we have no official guidance despite asking for it several times.”

The operator said his firm and drivers have taken all the particle steps necessary to ensure a safe return to work for staff and students.

These include a deep clean regime after each working shift and the provision of hand sanitisers on every bus.

However, in terms of paperwork and actual operating procedures, he said he has been left in the dark by the Department of Education.

He raised concerns about the management of contract tracing paperwork, the added responsibility on his drivers who have to ensure students comply with social distancing while on board.

One Department of Education guideline states that schools busses (for secondary students) can only operate at 50 per cent capacity. With just two days (from today, Friday) left before schools re-open he still does not know if needs to add extra busses to each of his contracted runs and if he needs to employ extra drivers.

“Taking on drivers is not so easy as they have to Garda vetted before working on school busses and that takes time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Primary School busses are allowed operate to full capacity adding to the confusion.

Some rural services could carry and mix of primary and secondary school children from rural areas to town schools.

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Insurance for building contractors

What kind of insurance does a building contractor need? Commercial vehicles and machinery First and foremost, if a building contractor has commercial vehicles then road risk cover is a requirement by law. As with all other motor insurance products, the cover options would be comprehensive, third party fire and theft, or third party only. Commercial […]

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What kind of insurance does a building contractor need?

Commercial vehicles and machinery

First and foremost, if a building contractor has commercial vehicles then road risk cover is a requirement by law. As with all other motor insurance products, the cover options would be comprehensive, third party fire and theft, or third party only. Commercial fleet polices can cover many vehicles under one policy.
The value of the vehicle is important to review each year, as are the drivers.
Commercial vehicle policies usually give “open driving 25 to 70-years-old” but sometimes naming the drivers who will use the vehicle is a better option and can save you money.
You may need road risk and associated covers for driving plant and machinery such as teleporters, tractors and the like.

Employers, Public and Products Liability Insurance

Employers Liability Insurance covers your legal liability in the event that you are negligent and required to pay compensation for bodily injuries to an employee in the course of their employment. Employee numbers and annual wages will need to be disclosed accurately and annually.
Public Liability Insurance covers your legal liability in the event that you are negligent and required to pay compensation for bodily injuries or damage to third party property in the course of your business activities.
Your annual turnover will need to be disclosed and reviewed annually. Many main contractors and State bodies may require the tradesperson to have a minimum of €6.5 million limit of indemnity.
Products Liability Insurance covers your legal liability for injuries and property damage in connection with goods sold or supplied.

Other covers needed may include “Tools in Transit” cover which can be arranged in conjunction with your commercial vehicle policy and “Engineering Inspection Cover” may be required on plant and machinery. A “Contract Works Policy” protects the building works in progress against fire. Some insurers can include “Personal Accident” cover on a combined liability policy.

You should seek out the expert advice of a professional insurance broker to review your insurance needs. At Healy Insurances, we can review your business requirements, offer expert advice and save you money on your premiums.

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Yellow rainfall warning issued for Kerry

A status Yellow rainfall warning has been issued for the county from 12noon today (Monday) until the early hours of tomorrow morning. Thunderstorms and heavy showers will develop today over the western half of the country, moving eastwards this evening where they will continue tonight. Localised downpours will lead to spot flooding and hazardous driving […]

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A status Yellow rainfall warning has been issued for the county from 12noon today (Monday) until the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Thunderstorms and heavy showers will develop today over the western half of the country, moving eastwards this evening where they will continue tonight. Localised downpours will lead to spot flooding and hazardous driving conditions.

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