• Robert Spicer

Health and Safety Prosecution

Death of steelworker: £500,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Tata Steels UK Ltd (2012) Swansea Crown Court, August 3.

Tata Steels UK Ltd has been fined following the death of a worker.

Significant points of the case

  • In April 2006 Kevin Downey was working a night shift at the company’s Port Talbot plant.

  • He went to the cast house at the site to inspect the slag pool of a blast furnace which was due to close for maintenance.

  • He fell into the open section of a channel containing slag at 1500 degrees Celsius.

  • The company had a reporting system which showed a significant number of near misses where steam had led to dangerous situations.

  • It was common practice to operate the furnace with channels left uncovered without taking additional precautions to prevent workers from falling in.

Tata was fined £500,000 plus £57,400 costs for breaches of sections 2 and 3, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees and non-employees.

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