In a Guardian report today, two people who were recruited for the role of “body handlers” said they received few hours in training and inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) with virtually no guidance or presence from medical professionals or morticians during their brief time training with the musical festival company. The sources also said they were not given advice on “protecting themselves from bodily fluids or other potential health and safety hazards from corpses” in the van driver and body handler roles. The recruits did not continue to work at the Wanstead Flats site in northeast London after the two days of training.
Loud Sound was contracted to manage temporary mortuaries and transport bodies as part of emergency efforts by the Strategic Coordination Group (SCG) of the London Resilience Forum, assisting hospitals and funeral homes with overflow during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There was very much a sense of people just being told to wing it, and this struck me as an incredibly disrespectful and dangerous way of working,” one recruit said. “No one who has done the training has seen one medical professional involved or in any capacity at any of the sites.”
According to Loud Sound’s website, the company’s production portfolio includes UK festivals All Points East, Creamfields, Field Day (through 2017), Bestival, British Summer Time and an event series called Corona Sunsets.
Read the full report in the Guardian.
Photo credit: Nick Kent