Celsa Manufacturing (UK) has pled guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after an employee was struck by a crane hook weighing 3.7 tonnes. The worker suffered severe head injuries and later died in hospital. The company was fi ned £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £37,000.

The crane hook was being used to convey ladles of molten steel in the company’s ‘melt’ shop in 2007. HSE found that while there was no mechanical defect with the crane, the hooks were able to move at head height near to operators on the ground without adequate safeguards. HSE Inspector Stephen Jones stated that the company should have put a thorough risk assessment in place and acted upon that risk assessment, given the hazardous nature of the operation. The court heard that the company had not addressed the fact that the crane hooks were able to move at head height near to operators on the ground and that crane operators were unable to see all employees on the ground.  

The case highlights the need to carry out suitable risk assessments of all work activities and, importantly, implement appropriate control measures.