Aldi Stores Ltd have been fined £1 million and ordered to pay £70,000 in cost after a delivery driver who had only worked for the firm for two weeks suffered severe injuries to his foot while operating an electric pallet truck at one of its stores.
In a prosecution brought by Amber Valley Borough Council, Aldi pleaded guilty at Derby Crown Court to two offences relating to health and safety breaches following an accident to a delivery driver at Somercotes store on Nottingham Road, in November 2013.
The conviction follows a lengthy investigation by Amber Valley Borough Council’s Regulation Unit.
In only his second week of a new job delivering goods to stores, the driver sustained severe foot injuries, while using a powered pallet truck.
Aldi relied on new drivers shadowing other drivers before they started working alone and did not have in place a standardised training programme to make sure drivers had the necessary skills to operate equipment.
The driver suffered fractures to all of his toes on his left foot, resulting in two of them having to be surgically amputated. His foot had to be reconstructed using wires and he was off work for nearly six months. Although the injured party has returned to work for Aldi, his injuries have left him with pain that will have repercussions in years to come and can be considered life-changing.
Aldi Stores Ltd, who have a turnover of £ 7.7bn (last financial year), admitted to the Court that the training provided by them should have been more structured and formal.
In summing up, Judge Peter Cooke acknowledged that Aldi Stores Ltd should have revised the training given to drivers sooner, following previous incidents in the company.
The Council’s lead investigating officer, Julia Cope said: “This accident resulted in very nasty injuries to a driver who had been asked to carry out work using equipment for which his employer had failed to provide structured and necessary formal training.”