NEWS: Tata fined again for ignoring risks that led to crane death

Serial offender, Tata Steel, has been fined £1.4 million for the death of a 26 year old maintenance electrician, who was crushed after an overhead crane trapped him in the cage he was working in.

Hull Crown Court heard how, Thomas Standerline was examining a crane as part of his inspection duties as a maintenance electrician, nearly eight years ago on the day of the incident, 23 April 2010.

As he was working, an overhead crane travelled over the cage he was in, trapping and then crushing him, killing him instantly. 

HSE found Tata Steel had failed to enforce its own safety procedures, despite having two previous incidents before Mr Standerline’s death.

The firm had failed to put in place essential control measures which would have prevented the overhead crane that killed Mr Standerline from even being in operation, HSE told the court. 

Commenting, 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.”

A member of Mr Standerline’s family spoke of how the death of Thomas had "devastated" the family. Speaking after the hearing they said: "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.”

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

It is the fifth time that Tata Steel has been convicted for safety failings in the past four years.

Most recently, in July 2016, it was fined £1.98m after two workers in two separate incidents suffered serious injuries to their hands – in 2014 and 2015. The fine was reduced to £1.5m on appeal in 2017.