The man Ross Beddow, a lorry driver for A Hingley Transport was helping to load steel plates on to a lorry. A Corus employee was operating a crane to lift a three-tonne pack of steel from a trailer. However, the load was not level and as it was lifted it fell on Beddow.
HSE inspector Dr Wai-Kin Liu said: This was a tragedy that could and should have been avoided. All the steps involved in an overall task should be analysed to create a safe system of work and the consequences of something going wrong should always be taken into account.
If Corus had a safe system of working then Mr Beddow would not have been killed simply doing his job.
Corus was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after it discovered through an investigation that the system of work for loading steel was unsafe. According to the HSE, not all the individual tasks involved had been evaluated and there was scope for misunderstanding between workers.
A statement from Corus said: Corus thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of Ross Beddow. Ross accident was a great tragedy, and following a detailed and thorough investigation into the incident we have taken many measures to ensure that a similar incident can never happen again.
Corus pleaded guilty to not ensuring that persons not in his employment were not exposed to risks to their health or safety. It was fined and ordered to pay £112,500 costs at Stafford Crown Court.