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    STEEL GIANT AND CONTRACTOR PROSECUTED OVER DEATH

    Metal bar fell from lift causing fatal head injuries

    Tata Steel UK Limited and specialist contractor Vesuvius UK Limited have been fined a total of £320,000 for safety failings after a worker died when he was struck by a falling metal bar in Redcar.

    Kristian Lee Norris, 29, from Middlesbrough, was working for Vesuvius UK Limited to re-line a steelmaking furnace at Teesside Cast Products at the time of the fatal incident on 12 April 2008. He was struck on the head by a 2ft metal bar that fell approximately 10m from a passenger and goods lift overhead.

    Teesside Crown Court heard (29 January) that HSE investigators found that adequate precautions were not in place to control the risks from falling tools or other materials. Both defendants were aware of the problems but allowed the work to continue.

    Precautions to prevent objects falling ‘sorely lacking’

    Vesuvius UK Limited, of Midland Way, Central Park, Barlborough, Lincolnshire, and Tata Steel UK Limited, of 30 Millbank, London, both pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 10(1), of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

    Vesuvius UK Limited was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £24,020. Tata Steel UK Limited was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £24,020.

    Regulation 10(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 requies that employers take steps to prevent the fall of any material or object. After sentencing, HSE Inspector Richard Bulmer, said:

    “Kristian’s tragic death may have been prevented had Vesuvius UK Limited and Tata Steel UK Limited made simple and adequate provisions to protect employees working beneath work and lift platforms.

    The risks associated with work at height are well known, as are the necessary safeguards. Yet on this occasion the precautions taken to prevent people or objects from falling were wholly insufficient and sorely lacking.”

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