Steel Firm Fined $1.9 Million in Maintenance Worker's Death

HSE's investigation found Tata Steel had failed to enforce its own safety procedures, despite having two previous incidents before Standerline's death, and that the steelmaker also failed to put in place essential control measures that would have prevented the overhead crane from even being in operation.

England's Health and Safety Executive reported that a Tata Steel, a major steel producer, was fined £1.4 million -- equivalent to $1.9 million in U.S. dollars -- with costs of £140,000 in connection with the death of a 26-year-old maintenance electrician named Thomas Standerline. When the case was heard in court, evidence showed Standerline on April 23, 2010, was inspecting a crane as part of his duties when an overhead crane traveled over the cage he was in, trapping and then crushing him.

HSE's investigation found Tata Steel had failed to enforce its own safety procedures, despite having two previous incidents before Standerline's death, and that the steelmaker also failed to put in place essential control measures that would have prevented the overhead crane from even being in operation.

Tata Steel UK Limited of Millbank, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

HSE Principal Inspector Kirsty Storer said, "This tragic loss of life could have been avoided had the company adhered to and enforced its own safety procedures. Despite two previous incidents sharing features with the one which ultimately cost Mr. Standerline his life, the company failed both to take these as a warning sign and to act on safety recommendations."

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