Risks of Working in the Steel Industry

The steel industry is regarded as one of the highest risk environments for workers and causes numerous health issues.

In 2014 alone there were over 500 handling injuries cited by the HSE in the metal production industry whilst over five percent of occupational asthma cases in 2013 were caused by soldering and welding tasks.

In our experience as industrial disease claim handlers, a large percentage of our hearing loss cases are made up of ex and current steel workers. The reason for this lies often not only in the loudness of one piece of machinery, but the number of machines active in one work space.

Are you suffering from illness or injury caused working in the steel industry? We can help.

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That it happens to so many – and that it’s considered ‘part of the job’ does not make it OK. Don’t suffer in silence as a result of industrial disease. Claim the compensation you are entitled to, to help you move forward with your life.

Occupational Risks of Working in the Steel Industry

Personal Protective Equipment in the Steel Industry

Due to the conditions of steel plants, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can easily be damaged. So as a result, this defective protective gear could potentially lead to further risks for staff.

When carrying out a task that involves equipment that creates fumes or smoke employers are required to provide PPE in the form of dust masks or breathing apparatus, depending on the toxicity levels of the fumes produced.

Safety Training

In addition, each employee should be provided with the appropriate training. Training on different types of machinery is essential for two reasons:

  1. So that workers are aware of what PPE they are required to wear, and
  2. So the risks of operating each machine is understood to avoid injuries

Loose clothing, long hair and jewellery pose a high risk around tools and machinery as they can get caught in fast moving parts, potentially triggering a severe industrial industry accident.

Skin burns caused by heated equipment or chemicals used during the steel manufacturing process are other examples of risks workers in the steel industry face on a day-to-day basis.

Has your employer failed to provide you with PPE and a safe work environment?
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Important Health and Safety Rules to Follow in the Steel Industry

Five very important rules to follow for steel industry workers are:

  • Always wear the necessary PPE and ensure that it is up to scratch, ask your line manager for replacements if you think its defective
  • Follow training guidelines carefully for each piece of machinery no matter how experienced you are
  • Make sure clothing, hair and other loose articles are out of the way when using machinery
  • Before using a piece of equipment check that it has been left in a safe working condition. Such as ensuring protective guards are in the correct position
  • Always be aware of your colleagues and surroundings – slips, trips and falls in a steel plant are more likely to cause serious injury than in other working environments

All of these factors are your employer’s responsibility. Your employer needs ensure that you, as an employee, are kept safe under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 [3].

Your employer also has a duty to take out insurance known as Employers Liability Insurance.

Claiming Compensation for Industrial Disease

In the event of accident or illness caused by work, compensation claims brought by an employee are covered by this insurance policy. This means that staff are not claiming money directly from their employer’s pockets.

This is not to say that you as an employee can wholeheartedly rely on your employer to keep you safe at all times.

You must do as much as possible to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses occurring by following the guidelines.

Types of Industrial Disease in the Steel Industry

Common types of industrial disease in the steel injury include:

  • Occupational asthma and dermatitis,
  • Noise induced hearing loss, and
  • Repetitive strain and back injuries

Most of these health problems caused at work could have been avoided with the provision of safety equipment, sufficient breaks and rotation of tasks.

For these types of industrial disease you may be able to claim compensation. Our solicitors have had many years experience claiming maximum compensation on behalf of their clients across many industries in the UK.

If you think that you or anyone you know have been affected please get in touch and we will be able to provide expert legal advice and bring a claim for compensation on your behalf.

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Our solicitors are highly experienced and have an abundance of experience in their field of law, ensuring you the best chance at a successful outcome of your case or claim.

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