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Tesco Charged for Failing to Ensure the Health and Safety of Their Employees
Posted by David Cant on April 1, 2011

Tesco, the large supermarket chain, has been found guilty of failings in their health and safety procedures.  An investigation was required after four workers were harmed in the work place.  The case was instigated by Bracknell Forest Council after their environmental health team and the legal team of the council decided to prosecute Tesco for several health and safety incidents in their stores. The accidents occurred at one of their stores in Warfield and their store in Sandhurst.

A Guilty Plea

The case was heard at Bracknell Magistrates Court where Tesco put in a guilty plea to all charges.  During the investigation many failings were revealed, firstly the supermarket giant had not imposed and withheld safe procedures when loading and unloading vehicles at the Warfield shop during May 27 2009 to June 4 2009.  Tesco were also discovered to have lapsed when it came to the proper accident reporting procedures at the stores in question from May 28 2009 and March 26 2010.

Employees Suffer Due to Lack of Health and Safety

The employees which were involved in the unreported accidents were left with a number of injuries. Combined the four staff suffered with a fractured toe and fractured ankle, a fractured risk and a cut hand.

The court decided to charge Tesco £48,000 for the health and safety failings and a £15 victim surcharge will be added onto the charges. In addition to this Bracknell Magistrates Court has ordered the supermarket chain to pay £25,000 which are to cover the costs of Bracknell Forest Council.  The magistrate has given Tesco just 21 days to pay the full amount of £73,015.

Stick to the Health and Safety Procedures

David Steel spoke to the press on behalf of the Environment Health stated that the companies must make sure that the stick to the health and safety rules which are in place.  This is to make sure that all employees remain safe while they are in the work place.  The case showed that Tesco had failed to follow their procedures, and many workers were injured due to these health and safety flaws.

Mr Steel added that he was pleased that Tesco had admitted the charges, and that he was happy with the judges’ decision and the fine which was imposed. Mr Steel is hopeful that the other companies would see this case and treat it as a warning to make them follow health and safety in the work place.

This case shows that health and safety laws and regulations are there to protect both employees and the employers.  Our consultants are able to help you when it comes to Workplace Risk assessments as well as carrying out audits and asbestos surveys. It is necessary to provide adequate health and safety training to all employees, this is a legal requirement and something that Veritas Consulting is able to help you to achieve.  Contact our experts on 0800 1488 677 for further information on our health and safety in the workplace services.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Workplace Safety


  1. elizabeth null mogie
    April 15, 2011 at 8:47 am

    i work in tesco on checkouts and we have chairs with wheels on and because we do not have mats underneath our chairs swivel and cause strain to backs. is it health and saftey law to have a mat to prevent this please let me know asap.

    • April 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm


      It is not Health and Safety law to provide a mat beneath your chair but what is law is Risk Assessment.

      In your case I suggest that you approach your employer and advise that you believe you are suffering from back strain from the chair provided for your use, your employer should then conduct an assessment based on your complaint which will identify suitability of the workplace euipment for your use.

      Trust that helps.

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