Kendal Calling electric shock: Cost-cutting 'led to worker injury'

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Organisers of a festival where a worker suffered brain damage have been accused of cutting costs, a court has heard.

Donald Berry, 46, of Radcliffe, near Bury, suffered an 11,000 volt shock when his crane hit a faulty cable at the Kendal Calling festival in 2010.

Carlisle Crown Court heard organisers of Kendal Calling hired safety firm Piper Event Services Limited.

But Piper says it got "limited" site information and denies a health and safety law breach.

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

Piper Event Services Limited, of Howle Hill, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, and company director, Jason Piper, 47, of Wye Street, Ross-on-Wye, are both accused of one count of contravening health and safety regulations by exposing workers to risk.

'Save expense'

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

But defence barrister, Julian Goose QC, said it was not true 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 the expense of paying for a comprehensive health and safety plan.

Mr Berry 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 court has heard.

The trial continues.

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