Tesco worker chemically burned after COSHH breaches
A supermarket chain has been fined after a store worker suffered chemical burns.
The employee was using a corrosive cleaning product to clean an oven when it sprayed back on to his face.
Difficulty understanding instructions
The court heard the:
- employee had difficulty understanding and following both written and verbal instructions due to learning disabilities
- manager had been made aware of the employee’s difficulty understanding instructions
- employee was not wearing any personal protective equipment such as goggles or gloves
The incident was investigated by the Borough Council’s Health & Safety officer.
On visiting the store, the officer found:
- a partially-used cleaning product container that was marked ‘corrosive’
- dirty and inadequately stored safety goggles
Health & Safety improvement notices were served and a prosecution was brought.
Tesco Stores Ltd admitted breaking the:
- Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002
The firm was fined £116,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £10,000.
The store in question is said to have since made improvements and to no longer use the chemical.
A council spokesperson said ‘Whether your business is big or small, if you fail to meet your duties to protect your employees under Health & Safety legislation, you run the risk of ending up in court’.
They added ‘Our role is to protect everyone at the workplace by ensuring that regulations are followed’.