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Aldi fined £100,000 after employee injured

Corin Williams02/03/2016 - 14:19

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The company failed to carry out a risk assessment
The company failed to carry out a risk assessment

Retail chain Aldi has been fined £100,000 for health and safety offences after an unsecured smoking shelter was blown into a group of employees on a break.

One employee was injured during the incident in October 2014 at the Aldi Stores Distribution Centre, Faverdale Industrial Estate, Darlington.

Aldi had contracted Wilkinson Maintenance Ltd to build an emergency exit to a first floor office.

A smoking shelter had to be moved as it was at the bottom of the new fire exit staircase.  It was left unsecured for eight days near the staff rest area.

An investigation by Darlington Borough Council revealed neither Aldi or Wilkinson Maintenance took responsibility for checking whether it was secured or not.

The council found a number of failings at Aldi, including lack of a risk assessment and ensuring that Wilkinson Maintenance was properly carrying out the job.

Wilkinson Maintenance also failed to produce a risk assessment for the job.

A prosecution was brought to Teesside Crown Court on 24 February. Aldi Food Stores Ltd pleaded guilty and was fined £100,000 under health and safety legislation. It was ordered to pay costs of £5,295.61.

Wilkinson Maintenance Ltd pleaded guilty and was fined 20,000, in addition ordered to pay costs of £5,295.61.

An Aldi spokesperson said: ‘We regret this isolated incident and are pleased the judge recognised the company’s impeccable character.

‘We take our health and safety responsibilities extremely seriously and are committed to safeguarding the welfare of our employees.

‘All necessary steps have been taken to remove the risk of this incident happening again and we are pleased that our employee has returned to work.’

Wilkinson Maintenance was asked for comment on this story.

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