HSE has prosecuted BBC Studioworks after a worker fell ten metres from a lighting rig.
The incident happened at Elstree Studios, which is home to Strictly Come Dancing. Eric Ihoeghinlan was collecting electrical cable whilst re-rigging at the studio. There were no guards along the edges of the lighting grid.
Mr Ihoeghinlan suffered multiple injuries, including a clot on the brain, fractured pelvis and ankles and a ruptured spleen. Due to his brain damage, it is not known if he will be able to work again.
Upon inspection, HSE found that there was no edge protection along the lighting grids. BBC Studioworks pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act and fined £200,000 and pay costs of more than £6000.
Lighting contract Elstree Light & Power were also found guilty of breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act and fined £30,000 and pay costs of more than £39,000.
Falls from height are one of the most common causes of work related injuries and fatalities in the UK.
Here are the HSE’s Do’s and Don’ts of Working at Heights:
- as much work as possible from the ground
- ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height
- ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly
- take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces
- provide protection from falling objects
- consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures
- overload ladders – consider the equipment or materials workers are carrying before working at height. Check the pictogram or label on the ladder for information
- overreach on ladders or stepladders
- rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces, eg glazing or plastic gutters
- use ladders or stepladders for strenuous or heavy tasks, only use them for light work of short duration (a maximum of 30 minutes at a time)
- let anyone who is not competent (who doesn’t have the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job) work at height