Kendal Calling electric shock: Safety firm cleared

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A safety firm hired to work at a festival at which a man suffered brain damage during an 11,000 volt electric shock, has been cleared.

Donald Berry, 46, from near Bury, was hurt when his crane hit a live cable at the Kendal Calling festival, in 2010.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Piper Event Services Ltd was accused of failing to issue proper warnings about the cable.

However, after a seven-day trial the firm and its director Jason Piper were found not guilty of a safety breach.

Festival organiser Kendal Calling has already pleaded guilty to exposing an employee to risk under the Health and Safety at Work Act. It will be sentenced at a later date.

'Save on expense'

Piper Event, of Howle Hill, Ross-on-Wye, and Mr Piper, 47, of Wye Street, Ross-on-Wye, were both accused of one count of contravening health and safety regulations by exposing workers to risk.

The firm hired to advise on site safety at the Lowther Park site at Hackthorpe, was accused of failing to warn of the dangers of the overhead cable.

But defence barrister, Julian Goose QC, said it was not true Mr Piper's company had been engaged as the "single point of contact" for such a wide-ranging task.

He said the Kendal Calling promoters had given the company "limited instructions" because they wanted to save on the expense of paying for a comprehensive health and safety plan.

Mr Berry, of Radcliffe, was hurt when his crane hit the cable while he was manoeuvring a portable building a few days before the festival at Lowther Park.

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