Wilko admits worker cage crush liability in Leicester

Corisande Collins
Image caption Corisande Collins said her injuries would not stop her achieving in life

High Street retailer Wilko is facing a potential multimillion-pound fine after an accident in one of its stores left a worker paralysed.

Corisande Collins, 23, from Glenfield, was crushed when a 6ft (1.8m) metal cage full of paint toppled on top of her at a store in Leicester, in 2013.

She suffered a spinal fracture and has to use a wheelchair.

Wilko admitted liability and failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees, at Leicester Crown Court.

Ms Collins, who had just completed the first year of a degree at Northampton University, was working part time at the Wilko store in Leicester's Beaumont shopping centre.

In August 2013, the student was pulling a roll cage overloaded with 230kg (507 lbs) of paint out of a lift, which was not even with the shop floor, when it toppled over on top of her, the court heard.

An air ambulance took her to hospital where doctors later told her she would never walk again.

Image caption Wilko admitted full responsibility for the accident

Prosecuting, Bernard Thorogood said it was a "high culpability case" as there was no risk assessment for the lift or the use of the roll cages.

There was also "inadequate training and supervision" and all employees over time were exposed to this "significant risk".

Ms Collins said in statement that despite the store taking responsibility it would never make up for the fact she lost the use of her legs.

She added that her injuries would not stop her achieving what she wants in life.

The store said in a statement: "From the outset Wilko has accepted full responsibility for the consequences of this tragic accident involving one of their team members.

"We are truly sorry that this incident happened and for the impact it made on our team member and those around them."

The firm will be sentenced at a later date.

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