Steel manufacturer Tata Steel and specialist contractor Vesuvius UK have been fined a total of £320,000 for safety failings, after a worker was killed by a falling metal bar in Redcar.
Kristian Lee Norris, 29, from Middlesbrough, was working for Vesuvius when he died lining a steel furnace at Teesside Cast Products at the time of the fatal incident on 12 April 2008.
He was hit on the head by a two foot long metal bar that fell from an overhead lift.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Teesside Crown Court that its investigation found that adequate precautions were not in place to limit the risks from falling tools or other materials.
This was a failing on the part of Mr Norris’ employer, Vesuvius, and Tata Steel UK, which then owned Teesside Cast Products. Both defendants were aware of the problems but allowed the work to continue.
Both companies pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulation, with Vesuvius UK fined £224,000 and Tata Steel UK fined £144,000.
HSE Inspector Richard Bulmer described Norris’ death as tragic, which “may have been prevented had Vesuvius UK and Tata Steel UK made simple provisions to protect employees working beneath work and lift platforms.”
“The precautions were wholly insufficient,” he added.
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