It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of a veteran of the engineering safety industry, John Martin Stark.
John established Engineering Safety while still in the then-Ministry of Transport around 1989 to develop and administer legislation for land-based boilers, pressure vessels, pressure piping, lifts, cranes and passenger ropeways that used to be governed by the Boilers, Lifts and Cranes Act.
John developed the framework for the new legislation for pressure equipment, cranes and passenger ropeways. During the development of this new legislation, John regularly consulted widely with industry and with industry groups such as HERA, CBIP and the Power Crane Association.
Industry had a high regard for John and it was a tribute to him that industry in general followed draft legislation during the hiatus between the repeal of the BLC Act in 1993 and the HSE (Pressure equipment, cranes and passenger ropeways) Regulations 1999 coming into being.
During this time John represented NZ on the Standards Australia committee ME1 for pressure equipment where he was instrumental in making sure that NZ interests were looked after during the development of joint Standards.
He also regularly represented NZ at ICPVT conferences (International Conference for Pressure Vessel Technology). John also represented NZ on an ISO Standards committee developing an international Standard for pressure equipment.
As a manager John was hardworking, thoughtful and considerate of the people who worked for him. John had a unique filing system in that papers pertaining to a particular job were kept in folders in a neat pile on the floor. The work was so full and varied that staff regularly approached his desk through a pathway between a dozen or more such piles. John inspired strong loyalties and people followed his work ethic voluntarily.
John retired from formal work in 1996 but still retained a strong interest in engineering matters carrying on with a part-time consultancy, at one time developing a treadmill for horses, just for a change. During his retirement he also served a term as chairman of ME1.