Steel worker left scarred for life
An international steel giant has been fined £180,000 after pleading guilty to safety breaches after an employee narrowly escaped death when he was showered in scalding molten metal in a massive explosion at its Rotherham plant.
The furnace operative suffered life-threatening injuries in the incident during 2012, after a control
system fault caused 25 tons of molten metal to spill from a furnace. Following the usual practice, the worker and a colleague began to hose water onto the spilled metal to cool it down. Soon after the water made contact, there was a huge explosion and the worker was covered in molten metal.
The worker needed numerous skin grafts and reconstructive surgery to his eyes, ears and forehead, and although he has since managed to return to work, he is no longer able to work in any high-temperature area.
HSE’s investigation identified serious safety failings in recognising and dealing with risks that led to workers being exposed to unnecessary danger, and that there were no procedures for dealing with spillages of molten metal, no assessment of the dangers and risks had been carried out and there was no safe system of work in place.
The company was fined a total of £180,000 and ordered to pay £82,979.26 in costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.