Steel firm fined after teenage apprentice broke his leg

Site Hire Services Ltd of Tunstall, Stoke on Trent was fined for safety failings after a worker broke his leg. 

Stafford Magistrates Court heard how on 28 March 2014, an employee was working on the fabrication of a large steel structure called an ‘angle plate’. 

In order to hold a 800kg steel sheet in place, the fabricator attempted to attach a temporary lifting channel to hold the steel sheet in an upright position. He sought the assistance of a 16-year-old apprentice to do this. While the apprentice was standing next to the steel sheet it became unstable and fell on to his leg, breaking it. 

The incident could have been prevented by applying better planning to the fabrication task and by having better control measures in place, including adequate training and supervision.

Today, (17 June) Site Hire Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 3(1) and was fined £6,000 with £2,232.98 costs. 

HSE Inspector Rachel Bradshaw said: “The manipulation of heavy loads using lifting equipment is a regular occurrence within the fabrication industry and needs to be properly managed. 

“It is not acceptable to expect people to work near unstable or poorly supported materials, even for short periods of time. Safe systems of work should be in place to prevent this and to avoid serious injuries or loss of life.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. Explanations of all breaches mentioned above can be found at
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at

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