A WORKER has died after suffering fatal injuries in an industrial accident at a Sheffield steel firm.
Stuart Stead, aged 49, is believed to have been working the night shift when the tragedy happened as he operated machinery at HI Quality Steel Castings Limited, on Forncett Street.
A cordon was in place outside the premises yesterday as police and the Health and Safety Executive began to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Stead, from Doncaster.
Robert Radford, the company’s divisional managing director, described Mr Stead as a ‘popular individual’ and said employees had been left ‘absolutely devastated’.
A visitor to the firm, who didn’t want to be named, told The Star he found the factory entrance cordoned off just before midday.
“Police had cordoned off the main gates and all the doors were shut up when they’re normally wide open,” he said.
“I spoke to one of the foremen who said one of the lads had been killed on one of the night shifts.
“He said the worst had happened. He seemed quite sad, he wasn’t saying much.”
The man said he picked up and dropped off power tools which need to be repaired every week.
Mr Radford said: “HI Quality Steel Castings sincerely regrets to advise that an accident at their Sheffield facility resulted in the death of Stuart Stead.
“The accident is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive and the company to try to determine exactly what happened. Our thoughts are with Mr Stead’s family in this terrible time, words are simply not enough at a time like this.
“The company and all our employees are absolutely devastated by the loss of a work colleague and a popular individual, we are all deeply saddened.”
A spokeswoman from South Yorkshire Police confirmed officers are investigating the tragedy on Wednesday night.
“It is believed a 49-year-old Doncaster man was fatally injured while operating machinery on the premises,” she said. “A joint inquiry with South Yorkshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive is underway into the circumstances.”
A post-mortem examination of Mr Stead’s body is expected to take place either today or Monday before an inquest is opened.
HI Quality Steel Castings manufactures high integrity carbon, low alloy, manganese, stainless and duplex steels for a variety of purposes, including the railway and mining industries.
The company has four melting plants at its Sheffield site, and is capable of producing castings weighing more than 1,000kg.