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Tesco supermarket has been ordered to pay a fine following an incident that occurred in one of its Express stores in Wallasey, Merseyside.

An employee of Tesco Maintenance Ltd was working at the store, carrying out repairs on the guttering and roof, when he fell through a skylight in a fragile state of repair. Despite the worker falling nine metres to the floor of the store, he did not suffer any serious injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted a full investigation of the incident, which happened in June 2014, and discovered that a risk assessment was not carried out before work was started, nor had a method statement been prepared. During an assessment, the faulty skylight would have been identified and precautions put in place. According to the HSE, Tesco Stores Ltd had neglected to report the roof's fragility to Tesco Maintenance Ltd.

The hearing took place at Liverpool Crown Court on September 30, when the court fined Tesco Stores Ltd and Tesco Maintenance Ltd £200,000 and £300,000 respectively. Both companies were ordered to pay costs.

Chris Hatton, the HSE inspector, stated that it was crucial to check a roof for fragility prior to starting work. He added:

“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.”

All employers are required to take relevant steps to ensure the safety of employees and members of the public, and methods may include the use of PPE and other equipment.

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