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Tesco divisions' communication failure bring £500k fine

Two arms of supermarket chain Tesco have been fined after health and safety breaches led to a worker falling through a store roof.

Tesco divisions' communication failure bring £500k fine
Image credit: ©Sonny Meddle/REX/Shutterstock

The Tesco Maintenance employee was part of a team carrying out repairs to the roof and gutters of the Tesco Express store in Liscard Village, Wallasey, Merseyside on 13 June 2014 when the incident occurred. He sustained minor injuries after falling 9 m through a fragile skylight onto the shop floor.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that no risk assessment or method statement had been produced for the roof work. Tesco Stores as construction client had given Tesco Maintenance no information about the fragility of the roof to allow it to plan a safe system of work.

Tesco Stores, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work (HSW) Act and Regulation 10 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, which requires clients to provide contractors with information to work safely on their sites and structures. The company was fined £200,000 with £712 costs.

Tesco Maintenance pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 which cover safe work around fragile surfaces, ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the HSW Act and was fined £300,000 with £624 costs.

"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," said HSE inspector Chris Hatton.

 

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Louis Wustemann is former editor, IOSH Magazine. He was previously editor of Health and Safety at Work magazine and Environment in Business. He has written, edited and consulted on health and safety, environmental and employment matters for more than 25 years.

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