Supermarket giant fined over accident at work

Safety breaches which resulted in a worker falling through a skylight while trying to clear a roof and guttering of leaves have led to supermarket giant Tesco being prosecuted under health and safety legislation.

A man employed by Tesco Maintenance Ltd fell 30ft through the skylight on to the floor of the Tesco Express Liscard shop in Wallasey, Merseyside. He suffered minor injuries in the fall, which happened in June 2014.

If you are employing staff or contractors to work on your premises, check you have adequate levels of insurance to cover you if something goes wrong. A good employers’ liability insurance is vital to ensure you are protected and are able to survive as a business if you are prosecuted for an accident that ultimately turns out to be due to mistakes that are your responsibility.

In the case of the Tesco accident, both Tesco Maintenance Ltd and Tesco Stores Ltd were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE found that no risk assessment was undertaken before the work and that the risks posed by the skylights should have been identified and precautions taken.

Tesco Stores Ltd 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. It was fined £200,000 with £712.70 costs.

Tesco Maintenance Ltd 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. It was fined £300,000 with £624.60 costs.