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Steel Giant Fined Over Crush Death

Man Killed In Work Accident


Corus has been fined £240,000 over the death of a lorry driver who was crushed by three tonnes of steel plates in a work accident.

The steelmaker was prosecuted by the HSE over Ross Beddow's death at its site in Wombourne, Staffordshire.

Stafford Crown Court also ordered the multinational to pay £112,500 in costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Employed by A Hingley Transport Ltd, Mr Beddow was helping to load steel plates on to a lorry in January 2007, while a Corus worker operated a crane lifting the steel from a trailer. The load was not level, and it fell on top of Mr Beddow and killed him.

An HSE investigation showed the system of work for loading steel was unsafe. Not all the individual tasks involved had been evaluated and there was scope for misunderstanding between workers.

HSE inspector Dr Wai-Kin Liu said: "Anyone can make errors - no matter how well trained and motivated they are - but employers must develop a safe way of working that helps to prevent mistakes and reduces the severity of the consequences if they do occur. If Corus had a safe system of working then Mr Beddow would not have been killed simply doing his job."

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This was a horrific fatal accident at work.  Corus, a significant multinational company, could and indeed should have been in a position to have in place a safe system of work which would have prevented Mr Beddow’s death.

“Falls from a height or injuries caused by falling objects remain a major category of serious or fatal injuries following a work accident.

“All too often, I see the misery caused following injury sustained in a fatal accident.”