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    RISK ASSESSED PRECAUTIONS NOT IMPLEMENTED

    Action not paperwork essential to prevent fall during lifting operation

    A major steel company has been fined £450k for safety breaches after a worker fell into an open pit at Tata Steel UK Ltd premises in February 2014.

    Sheffield Crown Court heard how Steven Ayres was engaged in emptying a skip at the bottom of an open pit using an overhead crane operated by a driver.

    Two floor plates covering the pit were removed and the skip emptied and replaced. Whilst replacing the plates Mr Ayres fell some 3-4m into the pit and sustained injuries including damage to his kidney and ribs.

    Barriers should have been provided

    HSE investigators found that a risk assessment was completed in October 2012 identifying the need to provide a barrier when the floor plates were removed to empty the skip.

    However, a barrier was not provided round the pit until after the incident.

    • Tata Steel UK Ltd – of Millbank, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £450,000 with £32,099 costs.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Welsh commented:

    “This incident could so easily have been avoided if Tata Steel UK Limited had actually acted on their own findings and provided a simple but effective control measure in the form of guardrails to prevent a fall and by using safe working practices.

    A fall from this height into a pit containing various metal objects could easily have resulted in a fatality. Companies should act swiftly if and when risks are identified and relevant control measures should be put in place when working at height.”

     

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