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Workforce to fall silent to remember Flint war hero killed in lorry crash

A workforce will hold a minutes silence today in memory of a war hero who died in a lorry crash on Monday. Austin Thomas, 29, was killed on the scene at UPM Shotton in Deeside after being hit by a lorry at the facility. The company said that its entire workforce will hold a one minute silence at 12.45pm in Mr Thomas’ memory.

Staff will join together at their weekly safety talk time to observe the one minute silence. UPM Shotton workers will be joined by employees at Saica across their UK Sites, as well as across the UPM group. David Ingham, general manager at UPM Shotton said: “We have had many individuals and companies, from within the UK Paper Industry and beyond, who have made contact with us to express condolences to the bereaved and solidarity with all employees who have been affected by the tragic accident.

“Both UPM and Downton have provided full access to their respective Occupational Health Teams, which will offer counselling to those affected if required.” The mill and warehouse were closed on Monday night until Tuesday morning as a mark of respect to the family and colleagues of the the deceased. Mr Thomas, a contractor worker for company Downton, was struck by a bucket loader in the recovered paper warehouse at UPM Shotton on Monday.

On Tuesday 7th February, North Wales Police handed the investigation over to the Health and Safety Executive. UPM and Downton, who are contracted to provide warehouse services for UPM Shotton, have now fully reviewed all procedures following the incident. The Health and Safety Executive have also been consulted and have approved these.

UPM Shotton said it will continue to work closely with all parties to identify the cause of the incident.

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