Steel firm fined £40,000 after worker's leg is amputated14 April 2011

Worker's right foot and left foot crushed against conveyor rollers

Spartan UK Ltd has been hit with a £40,000 fine after a worker had his lower leg amputated following routine maintenance work.

Alan Dixon from Gateshead had his feet crushed in a rolling mill at the steel firm's Gateshead site in August 2009.

Spartan UK Ltd failed to ensure dangerous parts of the mill were deactivated while Dixon and his team carried out their checks, a court ruled.

Mr Dixon was standing on the mill when a worker, unaware of his presence, activated the hydraulic arms used to position steel plates through the mill rollers.

Dixon' s right foot and part of his left were crushed against the conveyor rollers.

He was rushed to a local hospital where surgeons had to amputate his right leg below the knee.

HSE Inspector Jonathan Wills said: "Simple and inexpensive measures would have prevented this incident from occurring. All workers involved in the process could have had individual keys to be inserted before the mill could be restarted."

Spartan UK Ltd pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Dixon condemned Spartan UK for failing to adhere to guidelines.

He said: "It's shocking there weren't more safety measures in place."

Max Gosney

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