Supermarket chain Tesco has been fined after health and safety breaches led to a worker falling through a skylight.
The employee of Tesco Maintenance Ltd was lucky to suffer only minor injuries after falling 30 feet through a fragile skylight onto the trading area floor of the Tesco Liscard Express store in Liscard Village, Wallasey, on the 13th June 2014.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the worker was part of a team carrying out repairs to the roof and gutters of the store when the incident occurred.
Tesco Maintenance Ltd and Tesco Stores Ltd were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found that no risk assessment or method statement had been produced prior to carrying out the work. The fragile skylights should have been identified and precautions taken but Tesco Maintenance Ltd had received no information relating to the fragility of the roof from their client Tesco Stores Ltd.
Tesco Stores Ltd of Tesco House, Shire Park, Kestrel Way, Welwyn Garden City, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 10 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £200,000 with £712.70 costs
Tesco Maintenance Ltd of Tesco House, Shire Park, Kestrel Way, Welwyn Garden City, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 with £624.60 costs.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Chris Hatton said:
“Contractors should treat all roofs with care and check before starting any work if they are fragile. I am shocked at a company the size of Tesco failing to take even basic precautions to prevent injury to its employees and further, to risk injury to the public”
For further information on working at height visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg33.htm
Notes to Editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement hse.gov.uk
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
- Further HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk.