Cumbria

Tata Steel fined £13,300 after staff 'crushed' by door

The door which caused the injuries. Photo: HSE
Image caption The two workers were repairing the door after it was hit by a forklift truck, causing it to become stuck

A global steel firm has been fined more than £13,000 after two workers suffered major injuries when a warehouse door collapsed on them in Cumbria.

The employees at Tata Steel UK Ltd in Workington were trying to repair a roller shutter door when the 300kg door and a supporting pillar gave way.

The company, based in London, admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

They were fined £13,300 at Workington Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

They were also ordered to pay £11,631 in prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Both the workers, who were maintenance fitters from Workington, suffered badly broken legs in the incident at the Curwen Road site on 20 April 2009.

Anthony Ryecroft, 51, was unable to work for 15 months as a result of his injuries and 59-year-old Geoff Anderson never returned to work for the company and has now taken voluntary redundancy.

Image caption A hard hat from one of the workers after the incident

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the incident found the company had failed to make sure a suitable risk assessment was carried out for the work, putting the lives of its staff in danger.

The court heard how the two workers were sent to repair the door after it was hit by a forklift truck, causing it to become stuck.

They were removing some of nuts from the supporting pillar when it came loose and collapsed.

Speaking after the hearing, investigating inspector at HSE, Mike Griffiths, said: "These two workers have suffered major injuries, with long term effects to their lives, because their employer didn't do enough to make sure they stayed safe.

"One of the workers could potentially have been killed if he hadn't been wearing a hard hat. Despite this, he still suffered a severe cut to his head and several other serious injuries.

"The work could have been carried out safely by removing the guide for the slats on the roller shutter door so that it could be wound up. However, it wasn't planned properly in advance due to the company's procedures."

Craig Scott, managing director of Tata Steel's projects business, said: "We investigated this accident fully and made a number of changes to the way we work to ensure that something like this can never happen again.

"The health and safety of our employees and contractors is our number one priority. We want to ensure everyone working on our sites is safe."

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