Man Crushed to Death Cleaning Ten Pin Bowling Alley MachineMs Riffat Yaqub is acting for the widow of Mr Dela Cruz who was tragically crushed to death whilst cleaning a ten pin bowling machine in Hollywood Bowl, Beckton.

Mitchells & Butler Retail Limited, which ran the former Hollywood Bowl site, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 33 (1) (a) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.  Judge Robert Fraser sitting at Inner London Crown Court on 4 February 2010 fined Mitchells & Butler £40,000 plus costs and said “this is a particularly sad case given the death of Mr Dela Cruz.  You accept that the Company is at fault over the death and have made changes to the guarding of the machine ….. had the machine been fitted with a guard that isolated the power his death could have been avoided”.

Since the accident, Mitchells & Butler have developed a new bowling machine with guarding in place and spent £2m in installing the system.

Riffat Yaqub, Mrs Dela Cruz’s solicitor said, “the family welcome the decision although are disappointed with the level of the fine.  The family hope the outcome of this case will ensure the future safety of all bowling alley technicians”.

This case has been reported on BBC London News and the SHP Safety & Health Practitoner Magazine.