homeWednesday 30th September 2020

Tesco safety breach fined

Katie Coyne16/08/2018 - 13:37

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Tesco fined for health and safety breach
Tesco fined for health and safety breach

The Tesco supermarket chain has been fined after one of its workers was crushed by a roll cage and suffered serious injuries.

The worker was unloading goods from a tail lift of a delivery vehicle at the Tesco Express store in Chadwell St Mary, Essex when the cage fell on top of her causing serious crush injuries including fractures to her pelvis.

The employee was taken to hospital where she was treated for her injuries and was off work for several months and returned to Tesco in a different role. The incident took place on 30 September.

Tesco’s risk assessment for dealing with cage store delivery required two people to work together to remove roll cages from the tail lifts of delivery vehicles.

But, following a lengthy investigation, EHOs from Thurrock Council found that this safety precaution had not been adhered to at the store for ‘some time’.

Tony Sprackling, principal EHO and corporate safety manager, said: ‘As part of the investigation one of the statements taken from the manager at the time was that he moved them on his own and staff moved them on their own, which is against Tesco policy and procedure.’

Thurrock Council also noted that another local authority, Waverley Borough Council, had previously taken Tesco to court for a similar H&S breach in 2013 and was given the maximum fine at the time of £20K and told to pay compensation to the victim and the authority’s costs.

Tesco pleaded guilty to a breach of section two of the Health and Safety Act. And on 3 August at Basildon Magistrates Court, District Judge Woolard fined Tesco £160,000 and a victim surcharge – which is used to fund victim services - of £120. Thurrock Council was awarded costs of £18,118.

Rob Gledhill, leader of Thurrock Council, said: ‘It is vital that workers are properly protected and safe when they are doing their jobs. We will always take action to ensure that proper standards are maintained by the borough’s employers.  

‘Both the health and safety and legal teams have done an outstanding job bringing this case.  

‘The size of the fine should serve as a deterrent and a signal to employers that we take the health and safety or our residents and others who work in Thurrock very seriously.’

A Tesco spokesperson said the supermarket chain has given refresher training in health and safety to all staff at the store. She added: ‘We work hard to ensure the safety of our colleagues and are very sorry that Ms Manze was injured in this way. Following this incident, we have reviewed our processes and made a number of changes to protect against this happening again.’




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