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Tata Steel fined for DSEAR breaches at Scunthorpe plant

14 February 2012

Tata Steel UK Ltd pleaded guilty in late January 2012 to breaching the Dangerous Substances and Explosives Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002 Act at Scunthorpe Magistrates Court, and was ordered to pay £31,000 in fines and costs.

Tata Steel has pleaded guilty to breaches in the DSEAR 2002 Act at its Scunthorpe steelworks
Tata Steel has pleaded guilty to breaches in the DSEAR 2002 Act at its Scunthorpe steelworks

This follows a gas pipe fire at the steelworks, and was the second safety conviction in a number of weeks for the company.

The gas pipe burst into flames during repair works, leaving two workers lucky to escape with their lives. The incident took place on February 26, 2009.

John Moran, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive, said Tata fell short of the standards required by regulations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The court heard an employee responsible for risk assessment, who was new to the role, deemed the area suitable, but alerted managers to the hole.

Two maintenance engineers attempted to repair it from a cherry picker, but had a narrow escape when a flame up to three metres long shot out of the hole in the pipe.

Tata pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching regulation 5(1) and one charge of breaching regulation 6 of the Dangerous Substances and Explosives Atmosphere Regulations 2002.

Dominic Adamson, defending for Tata, said the company accepted it was guilty and apologised on behalf of it to the court.

He said it was clear that the defendant fell significantly short of the standards set out by the regulations and that in future, a site fuel specialist at Tata would carry out a risk assessment on all leaks.

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