The wife of an Indian taxi driver is suing her late husband’s employer for his death due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
30-year-old Sandeep Singh Brar was driving his cab when he pulled over in Mont Albert in Melbourne’s north to take a "power nap" with the engine running to keep warm on September 2, 2013.
An investigation found that the broken tail pipe in the cab allowed free exhaust gasses to build up in the rear bumper cavity of the vehicle, enabling the gasses to enter the boot via unsealed holes and a leaking boot vent.
The investigation found the vehicle’s cabin was not sealed from the boot cavity, allowing the carbon monoxide exhaust gas to enter the cabin while Mr Brar slept with the engine running.
Mr Brar’s wife Shavinder Veer Kaur in her writ before the County Court has claimed the cab company her husband worked for was responsible for cab’s maintenance and owed Mr Brar duty of care.
Ms Kaur is seeking damages based on her late husband’s weekly earnings of about $900-$1,100, Herald Sun reports.
Death in the workplace is never acceptable and no family should have to go through the devastation of losing a loved one.
Slater and Gordon Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jana Athanasopoulos said Ms Veer Kaur is devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of her husband, Sandeep Singh Brar, a family man who worked hard to provide for his family.
“Sandeep’s employer had a duty of care to provide and maintain a safe working environment and to ensure their workers are not placed at risk.
“Death in the workplace is never acceptable and no family should have to go through the devastation of losing a loved one,” Ms Athanasopoulos told SBS Punjabi.
The cab company owner told the Coroner he had purchased carbon monoxide detectors since Mr Brar’s death and planned to install carbon monoxide alarms in all his cabs.
The Coroner recommended that the Taxi Services Commission consider the introduction of mandatory carbon monoxide monitoring for taxi vehicles and that the drivers be educated about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning while power napping with the engine kept running.
“We cannot rely on safety regulation alone, workplace safety must be the priority of everyone to ensure people are going home to their families at the end of each day,” said lawyer Jana Athanasopoulos.