Managers failed to make environment safe despite worker raising concerns
A man from Romford has received £10,000 in compensation after ITV failed to make safe the studio from which This Morning is broadcast.
The man, who has been a member of BECTU for nearly 40 years, was on the set of the This Morning programme when the accident happened.
Issue ignored by management
Other contractors who had been working in the area, transforming what was previously a store room into ‘The Hub’, home to high profile TV presenters, had dug a ditch in the studio floor, but left it uncovered. The member immediately flagged the issue to the studio manager, but was ignored.
Two surgical procedures
While the programme was being filmed live and the member was carrying out his own work he fell into the uncovered ditch and sustained a cartilage tear in his right knee. The injury needed two surgical procedures to correct.
The man contacted his union, BECTU, who referred him to Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim on his behalf.
ITV denied responsibility
ITV initially denied the incident had taken place and then sought to blame the employee but witnesses came forward to support his case.
He said: “ITV were completely unsympathetic and consistently denied that the incident was their fault. They said I should have covered up the ditch myself but I didn’t have the equipment and if I had tried I could have created more of a hazard. The contractors should never have left the studio in that state but the studio manager could and should have sorted it as soon as I pointed it out.
Ironically as I was in the thick of doing my job whilst the show was going out live I fell into the trap. Because of my injuries I now can’t do many of the things I used to, like playing football.”
Following the incident, the union member did not return to full time work, and his knee requires constant strapping. The incident accelerated underlying arthritic conditions by at least three years.
Employers cannot ignore duty of care
Vincent Reynolds of Thompsons Solicitors said: “Employers have a duty of care to keep a working environment safe. Once the ITV managers knew about the ditch they should have taken steps to have it covered or screened off. Instead they chose to do nothing and it cost my client his health. The case shows that employers will try but ultimately can’t fob off claims blaming anyone but themselves when it’s in their hands to sort things and make the workplace safe.”
BECTU supervising official Spencer MacDonald commented: “The requirements on managers to ensure a safe work environment apply regardless of whether it’s a studio, a building site, a warehouse or a factory.”
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