Published on 29 - March - 2010
John Lewis fined over injured workerJohn Lewis was fined £16,000 at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court on March 19 for breaking health and safety laws.
The woman was injured outside the Milton Keynes store
In June 2008 the company's merchandising manager Madeline Nicholas, 59, was struck in the face by a basket attached to a boom on a cherry picker vehicle, the court heard.
She was helping to direct the cherry picker, which had been hired to hang up a banner, through the shopping centre to the outside entrance of the Milton Keynes store.
As she was holding open the centre's doors to let the vehicle through she was struck in the face by the vehicle's basket and suffered a cut above her eye.
John Lewis pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all of its employees under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
The court found that there was a failure to identify risks in new activities undertaken at the store and that death or serious injury was risked by the activity.
A spokesperson for John Lewis said: "John Lewis takes the health and safety of both its Partners and customers extremely seriously and it is regretful that this incident occurred. John Lewis cooperated fully with Milton Keynes Council's health and safety officers throughout their investigations and has since made every effort to ensure that an incident of this nature does not happen again."
In sentencing, magistrates took into account that the company had pleaded guilty, fully cooperated with the investigation and had a previous good health and safety record, leading to the potential fine of £24,000 being reduced by a third to £16,000.
Costs of £8987 were awarded to Milton Keynes Council.
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