The supermarket firm has received the fine after a ten year old boy was electrocuted by exposed wires. The incident happened in a store on Warfield, Berkshire in 2017. The local Public Protection Partnership reported:
Tesco Stores Limited were fined £536,000 this week by magistrates after a 10-year-old child got an electric shock at its Warfield store in July 2017.
Tesco Stores Limited (Tesco) were sentenced at Reading Magistrates Court on 15th December 2020 after pleading guilty to two health and safety offences relating to an incident on 9 July 2017 at their store on County Lane, Warfield. Tesco was fined £268,000 for each offence and ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge of £170 and costs of £25,750.91.
Tesco was prosecuted following an investigation by officers from the council’s Public Protection Service supported by the Public Protection Partnership Joint Case Management Unit.
On 9 July 2017, two parents attend the store with their two sons just prior closing time. One parent went with one son to the freezer section to get ice lollies. When the 10 year old reached for the product, he suddenly started screaming and crying. As the result of being electrocuted he suffered a small minor burn, pain down his right leg, chest pain and was shaken.
The electrical supply to a glass heating element under the hand/rub rail at the front of the freezer and had become damaged and exposed, leaving a severed live wire sticking out under the rub rail. While the incident was reported to staff, procedures were not followed properly and the freezer was left on and filled with food items until the next day when it was eventually switched off and isolated. Subsequent review of records showed the freezer’s rail was known to be loose and had temporary fixes of glue or tape some months prior to the accident.
Commenting on the case, Cllr John Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “This investigation which followed an incident where a child was electrocuted in the store revealed significant breaches of health and safety legislation and this is clearly reflected in the sentencing. The council will always follow up concerns about health and safety matters in premises where it is responsible for enforcement and if anyone has concerns they should contact our environmental health team.”