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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case NO-2020-12/1611 – measures in Norway

Closed front doors and cash-free payment to protect bus drivers

Stengte frontdører og ingen kontantbetaling for å beskytte bussjåfører

Country Norway , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 16 March 2020
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Aasmund Arup Seip, FAFO and Eurofound
Case created 18 December 2020 (updated 29 January 2021)

Background information

With more and more COVID-19 infected in Norway, measures were taken to regulate and protect people working in public transport. Bus drivers were seen as very vulnerable to infection. Closed front doors and cash-free payment were among the measures to protect the country's bus drivers. Health authorities gave national recommendations.

Content of measure

In connection with the first outbreak of COVID-19 in Norway in Mars 2020, the owners of public transport sought solutions to reduce the risk of infection of drivers and passengers in public transport. The employer association, NHO Transport, assisted its member companies to implement several measures following inquiries from shop stewards and the Health, Safety and Environment representatives, such as extra hygiene and cleaning measures. Several county municipalities introduced measures such as keeping the front door on the bus closed, avoiding passengers in the front row of the bus and banning cash ticket sales on board the bus.

Among the measures proposed by the union and mostly implemented by employers were:

  • Risk assessment of employees with regard to COVID-19 infection. Employees in risk groups must be shielded with extraordinary measures.
  • The use of alco locks ceases during the period due to hygiene and uncertainty associated with the spread of virus.
  • The public transport company and not the bus drivers shall provide information about the situation, to prevent that drivers are infected.
  • The front doors shall be closed for normal entry and exit with explanatory information in Norwegian and English as to why they are closed. The front doors will remain emergency exits.
  • A clear barrier between driver and passenger shall prevent the driver from coming into contact with passengers. The distance should be at least two meters if possible.
  • No cash or physical ticketing on the bus.
  • More frequent and accurate cleaning given in stricter routines. Cleaning and / or disinfecting agents, paper towels and gloves must be easily accessible. In the event of a change of driver, the driver must disinfect / clean the driver's area before the next driver takes over.
  • The air conditioning filter must be replaced more frequently.
  • Frequent contact with exchange of information between company and shop stewards and safety representatives (HSE).

Use of measure

Used nationwide on public bus transport.

Contents

  • Health and safety

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Sector specific set of companies
Companies providing essential services
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Company / Companies
Local / regional government
Companies

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

The employer’s association, NHO Transport, assisted its member companies to implement several measures following inquiries from shop stewards and the Health, Safety and Environment representatives. The bus driver’s union, Fellesforbundet (member of LO), proposed several measures to protect drivers and discussed these with the employer’s association and other unions.

Views and reactions

No dissagreement about the measures is noticed.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Drivers and mobile plant operators

Sources

  • 15 March 2020: Safety measures for bus drivers
  • 05 May 2020: Infection control in public transport

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Closed front doors and cash-free payment to protect bus drivers, case NO-2020-12/1611 (measures in Norway), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.