Mike Compton 1936 – 2022
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Michael (Mike) Leonard Compton, who for many years championed health and safety in ports and terminals across the globe.
A prominent member and previous Technical Advisor of ICHCA, Mike worked relentlessly to raise standards. He was integral in the development of international and national regulation, approved codes of practice and guidance. One of Mike’s major contributions was to the ILO Code of Practice Safety and Health in Ports published in 2005.
Mike Compton started work in the early 1950s with the Port of London Authority in a clerical role. His early responsibilities drew on his natural aptitude for detail, requiring close documentary control. It was not long, however, before he moved into operations, and for a while worked on a department now taken up by the runway for London City Airport. His role developed around awareness of accidents and grew into a life-long passion to improve safety in dock work. Prior to containerisation in the 1960s, the dock industry was dominated by manual handling with its high volume of people and high number of accidents and injuries. In this period, Mike became part of the Port of London Authority’s drive to improve its ‘Safety First Committees’, which had first been set up in 1926. Focus on improved information and training followed, together with development of personal protective gear and a culture of valuing safety. Having chalked up almost six decades in the transport industry, including over 45 years dedicated solely to health and safety, Mike decided to retire in 2011. He had worked at company, port, national and international level, in addition to being the safety correspondent for Cargo Systems magazine from March 1976 until its closure in June 2011. In his devoted work for ICHCA International he built an impressive network of experts in the form of the International Safety Panel as its Chair. The Panel – now the ICHCA Technical Panel – is still thriving, meeting and corresponding, bringing together a vast array of expertise and experience throughout the supply chain, from operational, engineering and other technical backgrounds. Through the Panel, ICHCA International has published over 80 practical advisory documents that are extensively used as the reference point for industry good practice. It is thanks to Mike that this library exists and continues to develop all with the aim of ensuring that people get to go home safe from work.
Thank you Mike for all that you have done for the people in our industry.