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BBC Studioworks fined after contractor injured

7 December 2017

Three companies have been fined after a contractor to BBC Studioworks fell more than 10m at Elstree Film Studios.

Harrow Crown Court heard how Eric Ihoeghinlan, an employee of Gabem Management, fell through a lighting grid hatch while recovering electrical cables for BBC Studioworks 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 he will ever work again.

An investigation by the 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 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 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 & Power was found guilty of breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £39,000.

Speaking after the hearing, Graham Tompkins, principal inspector for the HSE, 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.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

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