Arco Safety Services Ltd

A personal story

‘I started my life in occupational health and safety many years ago after a hospital consultant, who was treating my father, told me that my dad was going to die and there wasn’t any point in treating him. He asked me what he did for a living and I explained he was an industrial blacksmith, ‘that explains it’ was his reply, ‘the hot metal gives off radiation’. He also went on to explain he’s never seen anyone with cancer in so many places at the same time. Dad, being strong as blacksmiths are, kept his illness from everyone until it was too late. He drove himself to hospital for a check-up and I collected his car and belongings two weeks later as he never came home. This made me realise I knew nothing, in reality, about occupational health risks, and I pledged to, learn more, get qualified and change my job to try to help keep people safe and prevent anyone else getting awful news they really were not expecting. I’m now five years older than my dad was when he died and I realise how lucky I have been not to work in heavy industry all my life. But luck shouldn’t be part of the equation, should it?’

Ken Smith