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Tata Steel fined after worker’s hand crushed

By Joe Whitworth+

07-Jan-2014
Last updated on 07-Jan-2014 at 13:59 GMT

Tata Steel has been fined £25,000 after a worker had his hand crushed in machinery at a site in South Wales.

The man, an employee for 34 years, was working on a production line at the Tata site in Trostre, Llanelli on 6 December 2012 when his left hand became trapped in a pair of steel pinch rolls.

He suffered crush injuries that led to the amputation of half his index finger and part of his middle finger.

The site manufactures tinplated steel for packaging applications such as food and drinks cans.

A Tata Steel spokesman told FoodQualityNews.com that health and safety is a priority.

"When an incident of this nature happens, we accept our responsibilities where they lie and, working together with the HSE and other authorities, we look to learn everything we can and apply those learnings to ensure that our workplaces remain amongst the safest in our sector."

Legislation breach

Tata Steel UK, of Millbank, London, was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £8,320 in costs after pleading guilty to three breaches of Health and Safety legislation.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that there was insufficient guarding equipment on the machinery the worker was using. 

Tata Steel UK had not properly assessed the risks to workers of using the equipment, even though it represented a significant risk because operatives had access to dangerous parts, said the agency.

Tata Steel failure

Steve Lewis, HSE inspector, said it was a ‘completely needless’ and ‘entirely preventable’ incident.

“Tata Steel UK Ltd failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment of the equipment their workers were using.

“They failed to provide machinery guarding to current standards, did not prevent access to dangerous moving parts of machinery and failed to provide a safe system for managing and controlling the risks associated with a production line.”

He added that it was ‘shocking’ that a company of Tata’s standing failed to achieve compliance on such a basic level of machinery guarding.

“This case should serve as a warning that HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies where key safety devices are not fitted to potentially dangerous machinery.”

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