Shop Direct fined after worker suffers significant head injury

A SHAW-BASED company has been fined £130,000 after a worker suffered a significant head injury while working in its warehouse.

The mother-of-one, 33, was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion which required hospital treatment.

As a result of the significant injury to her head she was left in considerable discomfort and unable to work for weeks.

The incident happened on January 16, 2018 at the Shop Direct Distribution Centre, Linney Lane.

The agency worker was walking under an area where maintenance was being carried out when she was struck on the head by a 1.8kg conveyor roller.

The roller had become dislodged and fallen about 80cm to 90cm while engineers worked on the equipment.

An investigation by Oldham Council found that Shop Direct failed to prevent people from walking under areas of maintenance work and control the risk of falling objects.

The council therefore brought a prosecution for a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

On Tuesday, July 8, 2019 the company pleaded guilty to the charge at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.

As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay £8,157 in costs. There was a victim surcharge of £170.

Cllr Ateeque Ur Rehman, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “No one should go to work and suffer an injury.

“This case highlights the need for businesses to ensure they provide a safe environment for their workers and that all possible steps are taken to make sure this happens.

“We’ll take action against any company where better work practices would have prevented injury.”

Shop Direct stocks a wide range of products at its fulfilment centres ready for orders from customers online.

At this site, orders from the company’s warehouses are prepared and packed ready for dispatch.

The vast majority of this is done mechanically but there are approximately 1,400 people who work at the Shaw site.

However, the plant is scheduled for closure next year with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Operations at the Linney Lane distribution centre will be transferred to the East Midlands.

Shop Direct concluded that limited accessibility, layout and loading restrictions, coupled with a lack of space, meant centres in Shaw and Little Hulton, Salford would not meet the group’s future operational ambitions.

Shop Direct was approached by The Correspondent for a comment but had not responded by the time the paper went to press.

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