Tata fined £500,000 over death
Posted Wed, 01 Aug 2012
A multinational steel company has been fined £500,000 after health and safety failures led to the death of a worker at a plant in South Wales.
Kevin Downey, 49, was working a night shift at Tata Steel's facility in Port Talbot in April 2006 when he was engulfed in steam and left disorientated.
Blinded by the steam, he tried to retrace his steps but wandered into a channel of molten slag, which had been heated to a temperature of 1,500C. Mr Downey suffered 85% burns and died later the same day from his injuries.
At the time of the accident, the plant, along with several other UK steel sites, was controlled by Corus Steel UK, which Tata took over in 2010.
Tata Steel UK Ltd admitted two breaches of health and safety legislation, which led to it failing in its duty of care to Mr Downey and other workers at the plant.
Health and Safety Executive representative Rupert Lowe told Swansea Crown Court that problems with excessive steam caused by the slag cooling method were already well known, and the channel along which the molten slag ran to be cooled was partially uncovered. He added that these "glaringly obvious" dangers were both known to the company.
Copyright Press Association 2012