News 04/12/23

Entertainment Company Fined £16,000 After an Investigation into Workers Death

Entertainment Company Fined £16,000 After an Investigation into Workers Death

Russell Bowry, 52, from Lower Stondon in Bedfordshire, fell 9.5m (31ft) at the Cardington Hangar Studios near Bedford in March 2018.

The rigger was working for ELP Broadcast and Events, who pleaded guilty to breaching safety guidelines.

The company was also ordered to pay £2,968.78 in costs at Luton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found they had failed to plan and implement a safe system of work.

According to the investigation, the Thurleigh-based company also failed to implement its own health and safety policy or ensure there was adequate supervision.

Mr Bowry was working on a waterproof and windproof cube for a stage production when he fell through the structure and landed 10 metres below.

An inquest in 2019 heard Mr Bowry was a rigger with 15 years’ experience.

However, on the day of the accident he had not attached his safety lanyard, and fell from the temporary stage.

The father-of-two died from his injuries three days later. Senior coroner Emma Whitting ruled his death was accidental.

The studios have been used in the past to film scenes for Star Wars and Harry Potter movie franchises.

HSE inspector Samantha Wells said: “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.”