The financial reality of steelmaking in the UK was a key factor in reducing a fine imposed on Tata Steel UK for breaching health and safety requirements.
The steelmaker risked an £800,000 fine, but Judge Slater at Sheffield Crown Court reduced it to £450,000, after ruling that Tata Steel breached Health and Safety Executive legislation following employee Steven Ayres fell backwards into a skip pit.
A risk assessment in 2012 stipulated that barriers needed to be in place to prevent such an accident from happening, but nothing was done.
Mr Ayres, an experienced employee, according to an online report by the BBC, suffered a lacerated right kidney and broken ribs and spent a week in hospital after the accident. He is no longer working for the company.
Judge Slater said that Tata’s accounts showed the company was ‘materially smaller’ than it was four years ago following a recent restructuring. This and the fact that Tata Steel admitted its guilty straight away led to the reduced fine.