Are your affairs in order?
UAE: The tragic and untimely death of Delta Sound Dubai operations manager Claire Ferguson in July 2016 had a profound effect on the rental company as well as the wider local industry. Coping with the personal and professional loss has been difficult for everyone at Delta Sound, but it has also highlighted some important factors that every member of the industry needs to consider when dealing with the most difficult of challenges.
‘No one could have predicted this extraordinary tragedy,’ stated Delta Sound MD Andy Jackson. ‘Dealing efficiently with the authorities, Claire’s immediate family and loved ones became the priority, as plans were made to repatriate Claire back to the UK. One of the first things that came to light, was that Claire did not have a will in place, luckily, the wishes of Claire’s fiancé and family were quickly realised, so we were able to action things quickly.
‘It struck me that as a company; most of our staff were quite unaware of the consequences of not having a will in place, particularly in the expatriate environment,’ he continued. ‘For me, it became a personal crusade to the point where we invited local legal experts to share their knowledge and make it comprehensible for our cross section of nationalities.’
Mr Jackson is determined to ensure that his company does as much as possible to highlight the importance. ‘I want everyone to have a will and I’ve said the company will subsidise for any of our employees who wants one. I would much rather everyone had their affairs in order, should the worst happen.’
But this is not just a message for the team at Delta Sound. Having had professionals in to guide all the staff at the rental company through this process of making a will, Mr Jackson is keen to stress how important this is for everyone who works in the industry. ‘I think that people in the industry should make sure that they have everything ticked. That they have the right repatriation plans in place,’ he explained. ‘If you don’t stipulate what you want to happen, then you’ve got no control.’
While it’s hard to take any positives from such a sad situation, Mr Jackson is determined that this will be part of Claire’s legacy. ‘I want people to learn from this situation and take responsibility in case the worst happens.’