Tesco fined over worker's foot crushing

A supermarket has been fined after an employee lost five toes when his foot was crushed by a faulty lift.

Mohammed Ferdous, 31, was working in the basement of the Tesco Metro in Warwick Way, Victoria, central London, removing crates of food.

Westminster City Council prosecuted Tesco and the lift maintenance contractor Otis.

Tesco, fined £115,000, said it "deeply regretted" the injury. Otis was fined £110,000.

'Entirely preventable'

Both were charged with failing to ensure that the lift was properly maintained in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

They admitted the charges and were sentenced on 23 December at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Ferdous had to have the five toes on his right foot amputated after the injury on 7 August 2009.

He had been taking two cages out of a lift - something he did not usually do - when he put his foot under the lift floor and it moved down.

The injuries have left him with difficulties walking and requiring a prosthesis, said Westminster Council.

A Tesco spokesman said the company "deeply regretted" the injury and that "substantial improvements" had been made to the lift.

He added: "Due to administrative errors by our lift contractor, Otis, no planned preventative maintenance was carried out on the lift for a nine month period and we accept that Tesco Maintenance should have been aware of this."

James Armitage, Westminster City Council's food, health and safety manager said it was "an entirely preventable accident" and would have been prevented if the companies had "collectively ensured that the lift was properly maintained".

Otis did not respond to requests for a comment.

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