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Michael Hunt: 1942 - 2007

2007/10/26

by Paul A. Adorian

Michael Hunt was elected President of IPAF in 1994 at the height of a long and successful career with the John Laing organization where he was Managing Director of EPL International with substantial responsibilities within the John Laing plant and transport organization.

During his two year term of office which covered a critical time for the Federation, which was recovering from the effects of a recessionary downturn, Michael presided over some exciting and fortune changing events. These saw the Federation, then in its second decade, build the foundation which enabled its current successful growth into a truly international and widely respected body which has contributed so powerfully in the field of safety through the use of powered access in all its forms.

Under his leadership the Federation returned to profit after some difficult years and invested heavily in the expansion of its infant operator training scheme, creating the PAL Card which has become an international byword in the field of operator training.

The sale of the Federation's magazine "Access Now!" was a positive step which not only strengthened IPAF's finances but also put the magazine onto a professional basis ensuring regular international press coverage of both the industry and IPAF's activities. These moves added credibility to the Federation, thus generating a steady growth in membership which has continued to the present day.

The imminent arrival of the requirement for EC certification of MEWPs offered another opportunity for IPAF to service its members' interests which was enthusiastically taken up under Michael's presidency, leading to the creation of Powered Access Certification Ltd as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Federation and the first UK Notified Body to concentrate entirely on EC certification of MEWPs.

This led to yet another bold move resulting in the Federation becoming a company limited by guarantee which was essential in view of its ever increasing responsibilities as an organization. Not a bad record for a two year period of presidency!

All those who knew and worked with Michael will be greatly saddened to hear of his death after a long illness which he bore with great fortitude, never losing his sense of humour. Michael had that rare ability to look you straight in the eye uttering a worryingly serious pronouncement causing you to wonder what disaster had occurred and just as the dreaded punch line was due he would deliver a witticism that would leave all around rolling in the aisles. All executed without any change of expression until he realized the joke had been well received.

As a President he always commanded respect for both his preparation and his ability to conduct a meeting, always listening to those with an opinion and invariably recommending a wise solution. He went out of his way to attend IPAF events invariably providing support and encouragement to those involved never failing to ensure a constant supply of good humour in so doing.

The industry has lost a champion and those who knew him have lost a good friend.

We all extend our heartfelt sympathy on this great loss to his loving wife Carol and his children Carol and Jonathan and his step children Ben and Sam.

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