Wilko has been fined £2.2m after a 23-year-old employee was crushed by a metal cage of paint, leaving her paralysed.
Corisande Collins, from Glenfield, was working at the store in Leicester when the incident occurred; she had been pulling a 230kg roll cage full of paint out of a lift when it topple onto her. Wilko admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees.
The prosecution for the case, held at Leicester Crown Court, described it as “high culpability” as there was no risk assessment for the lift or use of roll cages. It also described the training and supervision at the store as “inadequate.”
Health and safety inspectors, meanwhile, said they were shocked by practices used at the store and said “the systems were unsafe.”
Ms Collins, who worked part-time at the Beaumont Shopping Centre branch while studying for a degree at Northampton University, now uses a wheelchair. Her family has said they will be seeking compensation now.
Wilko has said that it accepted the ruling and would not appeal. In a statement, the retailer said, “The greater penalty for all of us is, knowing that on this occasion we let one of our team members down.
"We are truly sorry that this incident happened and for the impact it has had on Corisande, her family and those around them which the judge today recognised they have faced as a family and with great fortitude."