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News headings from LabourStart


Worker sacked after wheel fall off bus.

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A mechanic sacked after the wheels fell off a bus he had worked on would have been aware of the correct maintenance procedures if he read the work order properly, a Commissioner has found.

The Commissioner found the worker was reasonably sacked because his conduct was inconsistent with a “clearly expressed instruction”, but awarded him six weeks’ pay because of his age and length of service.

The Hillbus maintenance mechanic had failed to tighten the wheel nuts on a bus during a routine inspection, and the bus’s two rear wheels fell off while being driven two months later.

The worker was summarily dismissed after an investigation.

The worker claimed he wasn’t aware that nut tensions needed to be checked, and that it was common practice for other mechanics at his depot not to check the wheel nuts.

The man had received a final warning previously when a bus he was working on “ran away” and hit a workshop roller door when he failed to ensure there was enough air pressure in the brakes.

The Commissioner found the worker’s conduct was a serious breach of vehicle maintenance and safety procedures, and the dismissal was a proportionate response when taking into account his service and work history.

“With more than nine years’ service, [the worker] should have known better and been aware that State Transit’s work procedures, workplace and public safety policies are paramount,” he said.

However, Commissioner Stanton found the dismissal was harsh given his age, length of service and difficulty obtaining further employment given his summary termination.