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It's rare for me but I'm at something of a loss about what to say today.
I know that every day, people are being injured or killed in their masses throughout the world and like most of us, I hurt for them all. With my daughter working for the London Fire Brigade though, and seeing her return home late last night, so very distressed at what she'd experienced throughout her long day, a more graphic picture than I might have received, has been painted for me of yesterday's disastrous fire at London's Grenfell Tower.
Early yesterday it was thought that an exploding fridge had started the fire... repercussions then perhaps for the other industry in which I work (kitchens, bathrooms & bedrooms). Unfolding reports are leading us to believe that the building services such as sprinklers and alarms weren't functioning properly and that cladding installed last year as part of an upgrade, caused the fire's incredibly rapid spread. Safety advice given to residents in the event of a fire (before this one occurred), is also being called into question.
Whatever the outcome of the investigations, one thing this disaster has brought home to me is what a heck of a responsibility we all have for other people's lives.
We go about our work, often following instructions that we may or may not agree with, completely oblivious to the effect that what we do, might have on others. The cleaning and facilities management industries for example, are not widely lauded by the general public, but if we get it wrong, the consequences can be dire.
Even the 'humble' cleaner - so often ignored - can cause or prevent infection, illness and accidents in our streets and buildings and on our transport systems.
That's quite some responsibility, isn't it? And of course it doesn't end there... the way we behave when we're not working will also affect others... to throw that rubbish out the car window while speeding along the motorway (will it distract another driver and cause an accident?)... to leave your hedge overgrowing the public footpath (will someone walk into it in the dark and damage their eyesight on a branch or thorn?)... to leave spillages or dropped fruit in a store (where another shopper may slip and injure themselves)?... I won't go on, but it does make you think, doesn't it? At least I hope it does...
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15th June 2017