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HSE ‘shocked’ by Tesco maintenance procedures

5 Oct 16 The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has said it is shocked at the lack of precautions taken by retail giant Tesco before sending maintenance employees to work at height.

The supermarket chain was prosecuted last week and fined £500,000 for health and safety breaches that led to a worker falling through a skylight.

The employee of Tesco Maintenance Ltd was said to be lucky to suffer only minor injuries after falling nine metres through a fragile skylight landing in the shopping aisles 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 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.

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HSE inspector Chris Hatton said after the hearing: “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”

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.

Tesco reported sales of £24.4bn in the six months to August 2016 and operating profit of £515m.

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MPU

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