RASCS News

Morrisons’ guilt over worker’s death ‘is warning to all employers’

The 27-year-old died when he fell from the stairs during a seizure at the retail giant’s store in Tewkesbury in September 2014.

Morrisons was fined £3.5 million on Friday after being found guilty of four charges at a trial in Cirencester in February. The company, which was aware of Matthew’s epileptic condition, was deemed to have missed opportunities to ensure his safety.

It was charged with three health and safety violations which it denied – failure to ensure the health and safety of an employee who had epilepsy, failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the employee who had epilepsy and failure to review risks to which an employee with epilepsy might be exposed. It admitted a fourth charge of failing to supply the council with requested information relating to the death of the employee.

Matthew was using the stairs in the store when he is believed to have had a seizure.

The resultant fall caused severe head injuries and he died in hospital on October 7, 2014.

Following Friday’s sentencing, the council’s head of community services, Peter Tonge, said: “This was a long and difficult investigation, and the successful court outcome is a reflection of the dedication and professionalism of our investigation team. Matthew Gunn was extremely vulnerable to health and safety risks in his workplace due to his severe epilepsy.

“Despite being aware of the risks, Morrisons failed to put in place a number of simple measures which could have kept Matthew safe at work. Furthermore, Morrisons failed to co-operate with elements of our investigation, and we are satisfied that the substantial fine imposed by the court reflects the seriousness of the omissions and failures on the part of the company.

Source: Gloucester Live