A supermarket chain has been fined £40,000 after an employee who had not been issued with anti-slip footwear was injured when she fell over on a spillage in an area used to prepare food. WM Morrison Supermarket admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act when it appeared at Ipswich crown court. As well as the fine, the supermarket giant has been ordered to pay a further £40,000 in costs.
The accident at work happened at the firm’s store on Sproughton Road in Ipswich in 2012. The court heard that although Morrisons provided employees in food preparation areas with anti-slip footwear, the woman had not been given any despite having to regularly enter them.
The worker was in great pain
Although the woman’s injuries had not been serious, she suffered a lot of pain, the court was told during the case brought by Ipswich Borough Council. In a statement issued after the case, the council said that it was pleased that the offence had been treated so seriously by the court. The statement added that the seriousness of the incident was reflected by the size of the fine and costs imposed by the court.
Two others injured in slips at store
In 2011, Morrisons was fined £17,500 after another employee broke her elbow after slipping on oil at the same supermarket. The incident happened after an environmental health officer had warned it about a slipping hazard on tiles behind a food counter.
Three years before that, another worker fractured her right elbow after slipping on grease that had spilled on to tiles behind a counter at the store. The woman underwent three operations and had been unable to go back to work for seven months.
Following that incident, the council worked with the Health and Safety Laboratory to assess how slip-resistant the floor tiles at the supermarket were. The investigation found that when there was water or oil on the floor there was a high risk of slipping.
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Date Published: October 23, 2014
Author: David Brown