Steel Company Fined after Worker Sustains Hand Injury

A steel firm has been prosecuted by the medical solicitors Health and Safety Executive, following an accident involving one of its workers.

On the 11th September 2009, a 41-year-old worker, whose name has not been made public, was carrying out his duties at a steel plant in Cardiff when the accident at work occurred. The worker was in the process of measuring solid hot steel stock in the factory’s section mill when his right hand became trapped in a machine’s rollers.

The worker sustained serious injuries in the accident, suffering severe burns and losing two fingers. Despite the severity of his injuries, the worker has returned to his place of work following a period of recovery.

Celsa Manufacturing (UK) Limited, a steel firm based in Cardiff, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court to plead guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

Health and Safety Executive inspectors investigated the accident and found that Celsa Manufacturing (UK) Limited had not implemented a safe system of work for handling hot material.

Personal injury lawyers or work accident lawyer firms working for clients involved in Britain’s steel industry are relatively common. Alongside construction, manufacturing and agriculture, the steel industry is one of the country’s most dangerous sectors in which to work. Notwithstanding the inherent risks of working in the steel industry, workers ought to expect a reasonably good level of safety at work. Employers in high-risk environments must carry out thorough risk assessments of all tasks, with a view to implementing measures designed to mitigate hazards. In the present case, Celsa Manufacturing (UK) Limited did not adequately implement such measures.

Speaking after the court hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector, Steve Curry, expressed his dismay that basic safety errors resulted in a worker’s permanent disability and disfigurement.

Mr Curry said: “Had Celsa ensured correct and safe working practices, the serious injuries suffered by this employee may have been avoided. This was a completely unnecessary incident. There were alternative measures the company could have used for this task.

“At the time of the incident, this method of measuring steel product was a recognised practice within company procedures. This has since been changed so as not to require close approach by employees, however it has come a little too late for one worker.”