Date: 5 December 2017
Three companies have been fined after a contractor to BBC Studioworks Ltd fell more than 10 metres at Elstree Film Studios.
Harrow Crown Court heard how Eric Ihoeghinlan, an employee of Gabem Management Ltd, fell through a lighting grid hatch while recovering electrical cables for BBC Studioworks Ltd during a de-rigging operation. He sustained multiple injuries including a blood clot to the brain, fractured pelvis and ankles, and a ruptured spleen. Due to the brain damage caused, it’s unknown if the man will ever work again.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 18 November 2014, found the hatches of the lighting grids and the ends of one, did not have any edge protection.
BBC Studioworks Ltd pleaded to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £6,000.
Elstree Film Studios Ltd was found guilty of breaching Regulation 3 and Regulation 11 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.The company was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £39,000.
Elstree Light and Power Ltd was found guilty of breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £39,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal inspector Graham Tompkins said: “The employee’s injuries were life-changing and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and the devastation caused could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place.
“ Owen Smorthit of OJAST Ltd indicates that from height are one of the commonist causes of work fatalities in this UK and the risks associated with working at height have been know for many years if not decades…
…employers need to consider this when a member of staff is even working at the lowest heights and Risk Assessment is the only key”!
OJAST working at heights Risk Assessment