ELP Broadcast and Events Ltd, a company operating in the entertainment industry, has been fined £16,000 following the tragic death of a worker in a workplace incident.
The incident occurred on 13th March 2018 at the Cardington Hangar Studios in Bedfordshire and resulted in the loss of Russell Bowry, a self-employed rigger.
Mr. Bowry, a 52-year-old resident of Lower Stondon, Bedfordshire, was part of an assembly team assigned to construct a temporary rehearsal stage for an upcoming musical performance at the studios.
The stage was a water and windproof cube designed for the musical’s rehearsals. Tragically, while working on the roof of this structure, Mr. Bowry fell through it, landing 10 meters below. He succumbed to his injuries three days later.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted a thorough investigation into the incident and uncovered significant safety violations by ELP Broadcast and Events Ltd.
The investigation revealed that the company had failed to plan and implement a safe system of work for its employees properly. Furthermore, it was determined that the company had not adequately implemented its own health and safety policy and lacked appropriate supervision measures.
HSE guidelines for work at height emphasise the importance of safety protocols to prevent such incidents, underscoring the gravity of ELP Broadcast & Events Ltd’s negligence in this case.
ELP Broadcast & Events Ltd, headquartered at Bedford Technology Park, Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. As a result of this breach, the company faced legal consequences in the form of a £16,000 fine and an additional financial burden of £2,968.70 in costs. These penalties were imposed at Luton Magistrates’ Court on 22nd November 2023.
Samantha Wells, an enforcement lawyer from the HSE, expressed deep concern about the incident, stating, “This tragic incident should not have happened. It is vital the entertainment sector has safe systems of work so when it puts on a good show, the workers behind the scenes are protected at all times.”