Steel worker killed by crane hook

20 February 2008

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John David Penhalagan, worked at Celsa, Tremorfa, Cardiff, for four years, before he was struck last May, the report continued.

A crane operator at the steelworks told Cardiff Coroner’s Court he believed the 44-year-old did not realise the hooks, weighing several tonnes, were about to be moved.

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Stephen Jones said: "Mr Penhalagan was struck on the head by a very large crane hook, and the crane hook pinned him against a removal device called a ladle cart or chariot, stationed alongside the crane hook."

He said the plant where Mr Penhalagan's accident happened is a steel mill, where scrap metal is recycled into new products.

Mr Penhalagan worked in the pit side area of the new melt shop, he added. Mr Jones said working conditions there were "quite difficult" as it is dusty and noisy. About 50 people work in the melt shop.

The jury heard crane driver Stephen Bates was stationed 30m above the shop floor and communicated with other staff using a radio or hand signals.

Mr Bates said he had a "good view" and that he would work shifts of between eight and nine hours, sometimes without a break if there was no other driver available. In a statement, Mr Penhalagan’s widow Janine described her husband as a "family man" with two young sons, aged eight and four.

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