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Sunday, 25 February

£1.5 Million For Maintenance Electrician Death

Tata Steel has been is to pay out over £1.5 million in fines sand costs after health and safety failings lead to the death of  26-year old maintenance electrician, Thomas Standerline.

Hull Crown Court heard (on Friday Feb 2) how, on 23 April 2010, Mr Standerline, an employee of Tata Steel at its Scunthorpe operation, was examining a crane as part of his inspection duties as a maintenance electrician. Whilst carrying out this work, an overhead crane travelled over the cage he was in, trapping and then crushing him. Mr Standerline died instantly.

 

Near misses

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found Tata Steel had failed to enforce its own safety procedures, despite having two previous incidents before Mr Standerline’s death. The HSE investigation also found Tata Steel failed to put in place essential control measures which would have prevented the overhead crane that killed Mr Standerline from even being in operation.

 

Severe fine

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 and was fined £1.4 million with costs of £140,000.

 

Message from the family after eight year ordeal

Speaking after the hearing, a member of Mr Standerline’s family said: “Thomas’s death has devastated us as a family. There’s not a day goes by when we don’t think about him. We miss him always, especially on family occasions when he should be with us. He was well loved by everyone who knew him and had lots of friends. Every day we think about what might have been if he had still been here. We would like to thank, once again, all those who have helped and supported us over the course of the last eight years. It means a great deal to us.”

 

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.”

Picture: Tata Steel, which prides itself on training young graduates (pictured here by Koen Suyk) at Velsen in the Netherlands, will be highly embarrassed at the repeated health and safety failures that led to the death of a young maintenance electrician.

Article written by Brain Shillibeer

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