Tesco Fined For Safety Inadequacies
A serious failure to adhere to fire safety rules at one of its supermarkets has left retail giant Tesco with a £95,000 fine.
The firm, which made £3.176 billion in pre-tax profit in the past year, was also ordered to pay £24,321 in costs for breaking the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
London firefighters were called to a fire at a Tesco in Colney Hatch, Barnet, in October 2007 only to find the premises locked - they only got in after catching the attention of a store worker who was stacking shelves after the supermarket had shut to customers.
A fire had broken out in a kitchen in the shop but staff had managed to extinguish it. The firefighters found lots of smoke still present in the kitchen, a corridor and other staff rooms - they had to ask several times for workers to evacuate the premises.
London Fire Brigade then inspected the supermarket and found blocked escape routes and doors wedged open, which encourages the spread of fire, and decided to prosecute Tesco.
The retailer admitted five breaches of the fire safety order at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday.
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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I welcome the fine imposed following this work accident. Fire at work is a potential major hazard for employees and as such, employers must comply with fire regulations. It is appalling that a company as large as Tesco committed these safety breaches.
"Had this fire taken hold, the risks to employees could have been significant."