Lighting Technician Killed in Catwalk Fall



I hate hearing about this so much.

A lighting technician, Fenton “Andy” Hollingsworth, working at the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Playhouse in West Palm Beach has fallen from a catwalk and died from his injuries.  This happened last week, but it somehow slipped past me.  I am so sorry to read about his death, and also sorry to know that his family has to go through some tough stuff now, so close to the holidays.

His death needs to be a lesson to all of us – I remember acting like a hero when I was a younger lighting electrician, reaching over stuff and generally placing my life into harms’ way daily.  I’m lucky.  I’m lucky I never slipped and got myself dead.  Next time you’re doing something stupid that could get yourself and others around you seriously hurt or killed, remember this story.  Andy fell from a lighting catwalk while he was hanging lighting on a truss.  Apparently he slipped and fell.  This could happen to any of us.  I certainly am not insinuating that Andy wasn’t paying attention – but to prove that accidents do happen and that you have to be working with your head about you, Andy’s death has to be a reminder to every single one of us out there that one wrong move can snatch the life out of you right now.

Make sure that when you’re doing things that require your attention that you give them your attention.  Always remember – 3 points of contact on a climbing device at all times, always anticipate and plan your next move, and be thinking about the move you have to make 3 moves from now.

There are lots of christmas shows and holiday extravaganzas out there this season, just like every season.  Remember to make sure you’re paying attention.  Christmas and New Years blow when you have to be reminded that someone you loved died during the holiday season.

My heart and sympathy go out to Andy’s family.

Thanks to the Palm Beach Post for the info.

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  1. Jim,

    This is sad news indeed. A couple of years ago the technical director at a nearby high school was working in the catwalk when he fell and he too died of his injuries. Until last year, my freshman year in college, I had never worn a harness and it was a completely new experience for me. If I may make the request, could you possibly feature an article on the ins and outs of harnesses? What to look for when buying a harness, how to use one properly, the rules that go along with them and other tools that save lives? I’ve only used a harness four times and it’s still a bit of a mystery to me. As someone who hopes to work in the lighting industry for years to come, I would love to see an article like this. While I’m sure this blog is read by veterans who already know most of what there is to know about work safety, there could also be a number of people like myself who are still somewhat unfamiliar with the different parts of it. I for one, would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for having a blog that both entertains and keeps us all aware of the dangers that come with our work.

  2. Thank you to Jim and all who sent kind words, thoughts, and prayers to the family.

    Now, nearly 5 years later, it’s still difficult. Trying to keep Andy’s memory and legacy alive has been so important to the family. After numerous Benefit Concerts, they are starting an online campaign to endow a scholarship in Fenton “Andy” Hollingsworth’s name at FAU. For more info please visit and share:

    The family just wants Andy to never be forgotten and to carry on his legacy through education. Thank you all again.

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