£333,000 fine for Co-Op over health and safety failings

£333,000 fine for Co-Op over health and safety failings

Supermarket chain Co-Op has been handed a hefty £333,000 fine in Court following a series of health and safety failings.

The news comes after a young female employee sustained a serious injury at work following a devastating incident.

According to reports, the unnamed staff member suffered serious fractures to her leg after a roll cage stacked full of products toppled over and pinned her to the floor while she was attempting to manoeuvre it.

The trolley was reportedly overloaded with a number of heavy items, including multiple cartons of milk, and therefore the sheer weight of the load resulted in the employee sustaining very serious injuries.

Following the incident, Horsham District Council led an investigation, which revealed that the incident was, from the outset, ‘entirely preventable’.

The investigation also found that the Horsham store’s management had a poor understanding of health and safety regulations and had not implemented the necessary training when instructing its members of staff.

Facing a legal battle in Brighton Crown Court, Co-Op pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws and was handed a fine of £333,334 for issuing this plea – reduced from a potential £500,000.

The Judge examining the case noted that the store’s senior staff “should have been pro-active in addressing or redressing the issue before they did.”

A spokesperson on behalf of the council added: “This incident had a severe impact on the victim, and she will have to live with the injuries she sustained for the rest of her life.

“Hopefully the incident will result in a renewed focus by the Co-Op to ensure standards are maintained in the future.”