The employee of Tesco Maintenance was carrying out repairs to the roof and gutters of the Tesco Liscard Express store in Wallasey, Merseyside, on June 13 2014 when the accident happened.
The worker fell nine metres through a fragile skylight onto the trading floor of the store, luckily suffering only minor injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found no risk assessment had been prepared or method statement before the work was carried out.
The fragile skylights should have been identified and precautions taken. Tesco Maintenance had received no information relating to the fragility of the roof from their client, Tesco Stores Ltd, said the HSE.
Prosecuted by the HSE
Tesco Maintenance and Tesco Stores were prosecuted by the HSE at Liverpool Crown Court on September 30.
Tesco Stores of Tesco House 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.
The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £712.70 in 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.
It also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £624.60 costs.
‘Check before starting work’
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Chris Hatton said: “Contractors should treat all roofs with care and check before starting any work if they are fragile.
“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”
Meanwhile, Tesco was regaining momentum, according to city analyst Shore Capital, after the retailer posted seventh consecutive quarter of volume growth in its half-year update.
Shore Capital said Tesco showed improvement in cash sales and it’s “much needed” profit margin. The analyst said it could see the improvement made by Tesco in its numbers and in-store.