Contractor killed by falling metal bar

Grant Prior 11 years ago
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Steel giant Tata and a specialist contractor have been fined a total of £320,000 after a worker was killed 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 tragedy on 12 April 2008.

He was hit on the head by a two foot long metal bar that fell 10 metres from a passenger and goods lift overhead.

Teesside Crown Court heard that an HSE investigation found that adequate precautions were not in place to control the risks from falling tools or other materials.

This was a failing on the part of both Norris’ employer, Vesuvius, and Tata Steel UK Limited, which then owned Teesside Cast Products. Both defendants were aware of the problems but allowed the work to continue.

Vesuvius UK Limited, of Barlborough, Lincolnshire, and Tata Steel UK both pleaded guilty to breaching regulation safety regulations.

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

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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