Tesco’s £1.6m penalty for failing to manage customer/vehicle mix
Supermarket giant Tesco has been fined £1.6m after a delivery driver reversed into a loading bay at a Metro store in west London and seriously injured a member of the public.
Ealing Council’s investigation found that drivers often reversed unassisted at the supermarket’s Greenford Road Metro store and staff had failed to notice even though it went against its internal procedures.
Isleworth Crown Court heard on 4 May that the driver was reversing unassisted when the vehicle ran into the pedestrian in August 2014. The manoeuvre trapped the self-employed tradesman between the loading bay and the vehicle. The tradesman sustained serious and life-changing injuries due to the impact.
The council’s health and safety team found that Tesco had failed to manage the risks of vehicles and pedestrians both using the car park, which is always open to the public.
Tesco pleaded guilty to breaching two offences. The judge fined the supermarket £800,000 for each offence and ordered it to pay £50,000 in costs.
Since the investigation, Tesco has made improvements to the car park layout, which includes installing barriers to prevent access to the area by private vehicles and pedestrians when delivery vehicles are manoeuvring.
Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine