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Unfair interpretation of crush death comments

14 May 2008

I am not trained in communicating with the media and have never had to communicate with them before. But perhaps I made the mistake of making some slightly unguarded comments to the layman journalist at the Wandsworth Borough News who published an article about the fatal accident that befell Ron Douglas of this business (NSS April issue).

In trying to explain, perhaps with some impatience, to that layman journalist that accidents with stone and slab handling do occur with a degree of frequency in the global stone industry, I perhaps exaggerated slightly in stating that accidents like that happen in the industry "all the time".

I did not expect the journalist of that newspaper to quote me verbatim on that, nor for those comments to be picked out and preyed upon by your magazine and Roy Bush of the HSE.

To draw the conclusion from that unguarded comment that there might be an "accepting culture" of accidents and that "people simply aren\'t questioning whether it\'s possible to reduce the risk of an accident", as Roy Bush did, is completely unfair on those in this business.

My life, that of my fellow director and those of my employees will always be painfully marked by the tragic death of Ron Douglas - a loved friend and stalwart colleague in this business. The loss to Ron\'s family and all of those who knew and worked with him is immense. To suggest that we as a business somehow \'accept\' his death is totally unfair and something which I personally found very hurtful.

We are doing our very best in this business to ensure that an accident such as this never ever happens again. We take health and safety matters seriously at this business. We never want to see a recurrence of such an incident at Marble City or at any other company for that matter.

Gavin Waldron, Managing Director, Marble City, Wandsworth

 

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