TWO firms have admitted breaching health and safety rules four years after a fatherof- two was killed in a steel plant when a falling metal bar hit his head.

Bricklayer Kristian Norris, 29, of Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, died on April 12, 2008, as he carried out maintenance work in a large furnace vessel at the Corus site at Lakenby, near Redcar.

Four years on, Tata Steel UK and the contractor Mr Norris worked for, Vesuvius UK, of Derbyshire, have pleaded guilty at Teesside Magistrates’ Court to a breach of health and safety regulations regarding working at height.

His partner, Louise Womack, 31, said: “I am glad they have admitted it, but you can’t turn the clock back.

“It may prevent anything happening again in the future but it has cost me my partner and cost my kids their dad.”

The case will now be sent to crown court for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

A Tata Steel spokesman said: “While we no longer operate that site, we have taken all steps to ensure that a similar incident can never happen again.”

Vesuvius UK managing director Richard Sykes said: “Kristian was a highly valued employee of Vesuvius.

“We recognise that an unfortunate set of circumstances, when combined together, led to his tragic death.”