Glasgow grocery company fined £120,000 after employee suffers life-changing injuries

A Glasgow-based company has been fined £120,000 over health and safety failings.
Alfa Wholesale in Glasgow picture: Google ImagesAlfa Wholesale in Glasgow picture: Google Images
Alfa Wholesale in Glasgow picture: Google Images

Alfa (Wholesale) Limited, a wholesale grocery, catering supply and household goods company, admitted guilt at Glasgow Sheriff Court last week.

The incident saw a 24-year-old warehouse worker fall through a plasterboard ceiling, while retrieving stock from a mezzanine.

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He landed on a concrete floor at the bottom of a stairwell, falling more than five metres.

The man sustained life-changing injuries after the incident in November 2017.

He was taken to hospital where he was initially unresponsive and diagnosed as having a skull fracture, bleeding on the brain and other significant injuries.

He has been left with cognitive difficulties, hearing loss, facial palsy and problems tasting food, and the family has been significantly impacted.

The incident was investigated by Glasgow City Council, which found that while the company had a generic risk assessment for a wide variety of activities within the premises, it did

not refer to or identify any risks associated with working on or accessing the mezzanine level.

The company had not put any control measures in place for employees working near the plasterboard.

Stock was being stored very close to the plasterboard and employees were regularly called upon to access this area to retrieve stock.

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The investigation found that it was incredibly likely that an employee might step on to this unguarded plasterboard.

It found that the incident had happened as a result of the company’s failure to identify the risks of staff accessing the stock items stored near to the plasterboard ceiling on the mezzanine area.

Since the incident, the company has changed its working practices.

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