Morrisons have been fined £3.5 million after an employee with epilepsy died when they fell from the stairs during a seizure.
An employee suffered catastrophic head injuries at one of the supermarket’s stores where they had been using the staircase to access their locker on the first floor.
The employee’s mother had previously told managers of the risk due to their frequent seizures. Unfortunately, the employee died in hospital 12 days after the fall, having never regained consciousness.
Morrisons denied three health and safety charges but was convicted by the jury. It had admitted a fourth charge before the trial.
The prosecution told the court Morrisons knew of the employee’s condition and should have moved their locker to the ground floor and stopped them using the stairs.
The jury convicted Morrisons of failure to ensure employees’ health, safety and welfare; failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees; and failure to review the risks and assessments of employees.
Businesses should ensure their employees’ health, safety and welfare. Risk assessments should be carried out and regularly updated. If there are individuals at higher risk, additional control measures should be introduced. For example, in the case above, removing the use of stairs by relocating the individual’s locker.
Businesses should also be aware of an individual’s medical history and introduce sufficient control measures and make reasonable adjustments to prevent an incident like the case above from happening.
At HPC, we have knowledgeable and experienced consultants that can act as your competent health and safety person. They can carry out thorough risk assessments which are reviewed annually or when there has been a significant change.
We also have a health and safety software called oneSafe. You can store all of your health and safety documentation in one place and set reminders to review. oneSafe also has a function for you to record accidents and near misses and has a number of templates and example risk assessments.
To find out more information about how HPC can support you with your health and safety requirements, get in contact with our team of experts.
T: 0330 107 1037