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SAFETY HELMET SAVED LIFE OF MAINTENANCE WORKER

Major steel firm fined following roller shutter door collapse during repairs

Global steel firm, Tata Steel UK Ltd, has been sentenced after two workers suffered major injuries during work to repair a roller shutter door at its plant in Workington in April 2009

HSE investigators found the company failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment putting “the lives of its staff in danger”. The injured men were maintenance fitters. A part of the falling structure struck one workman on the head thereby splitting his hard hat and cutting his head and shoulder. He was unable to work for 15 months as a result of his injuries.

Workington Magistrates heard there was no “robust system in place for making sure its maintenance staff were planning and carrying out work safely”. The court was told the door had become stuck and the men were removing nuts from the supporting pillar when the door collapsed.

Work should have been properly planned in advance

On December 22nd 2011 Tata Steel UK Ltd admitted breaching HSW Act 1974 Section 2(1) by failing to ensure the safety of the two workers. The company was fined £13,300 and ordered to pay £11,631 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, the investigating inspector at HSE, Mike Griffiths, said:

“These two workers have suffered major injuries, with long term effects to their lives, because their employer didn’t do enough to make sure they stayed safe.

One of the workers could potentially have been killed if he hadn’t been wearing a hard hat. Despite this, he still suffered a severe cut to his head and several other serious injuries.

The work could have been carried out safely by removing the guide for the slats on the roller shutter door so that it could be wound up. However, it wasn’t planned properly in advance due to the company’s procedures.”

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