Tata Steel fined £450,000 after worker fell into unguarded pit
Tata Steel fined £450,000 following fall of worker into pit [remove for online]
Health and Safety Executive v Tata Steel UK Ltd (2018) Sheffield Crown Court, September 3
Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)
Tata Steel has been fined for safety breaches after a worker fell into an open pit.
In February 2014 Steven Ayres was working at the company’s plant in Stockbridge. He was emptying a skip at the bottom of an open pit, 3 to 4 metres deep. Working with an overhead crane, he removed floor plates from the pit, emptied the skip and began to replace the plates.
As the plates were being removed, Ayres stepped back and fell into the pit. He suffered injuries which included damage to his kidney and ribs.
A risk assessment completed 16 months before the incident had identified the need to provide a barrier around the pit when the floor plates had been removed. This was not implemented.
The company was fined £450,000 plus £32,000 costs under s.2 of HSWA.
An HSE inspector commented after the case that 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.