Kendal Calling electric shock case: Organisers to pay £45,000

The organisers of a festival where a worker suffered brain damage from an 11,000 volt electric shock have been ordered to pay a total of £45,000.

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

Kendal Calling admitted a safety breach at Carlisle Crown Court and was fined £20,000 with £25,000 costs.

Eden Council environmental health officer Elaine Lowmas said the fine was "disappointing".

Speaking outside the court, she said: "Mr Berry's family will be very disappointed by the fine, obviously he suffered very serious injuries and will have to live with these injuries for the rest of his life."

A statement from Kendal Calling said they regretted what happened to Mr Berry and felt "remorse".

Earlier this month, safety firm Piper Event Services Ltd, which was hired to assess safety at the site, was accused of failing to issue proper warnings about the cable.

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

'Save on expense'

Kendal Calling had already pleaded guilty to exposing an employee to risk under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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 was accused of failing to warn of the dangers of the overhead cable.

But the trial heard that Kendal Calling 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.

The statement from Kendal Calling, which still runs the festival, said: "Since the incident on site, we have brought all health and safety management in-house and appointed an industry-leading events production company."

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