When very bad news comes in threes


Jo Francis hopes that print bosses up and down the land are taking some time out to make sure their Health & Safety procedures are up-to-date.

Two fatalities. One person with a life-changing arm injury. Three horrendous incidents in our industry in the space of as many weeks.

When we received news yesterday that Precision North managing director Martyn Young had died following an accident involving a forklift truck, the reaction was disbelief.

It is very difficult to find adequate words at a time like this. Alongside the obvious tragedy and shock affecting the loved ones of a person who has been killed or maimed, there are wider knock-on effects for colleagues and the business itself.

At the beginning of the month we learned that a contractor had been killed at UPM Shotton. I simply cannot think of a company in our sector that is more obsessed with health and safety than this mill. For someone to be injured there – never mind killed – just seems utterly incomprehensible. And yet somehow, that has happened.

While we wait for the facts to emerge about precisely what went wrong at these three companies, perhaps there is one straw that can be grasped in term of some sort of positive to come out of all of this.

I truly hope that the bosses at industry businesses of all shapes and sizes are taking some time out this week to review their Health & Safety procedures, and to make sure all their employees are on the same page.

And I truly hope not to have to speak with the HSE press office again for many moons to come.

 

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