WH Smith Fined for Breach of Health and Safety

Hamza Ali (Student)

WHSmith have been issued a significant fine of £337,500 after a customer fell almost 3m through an open trapdoor on the shop floor. The incident left the victim with serious injuries. As a result of health and safety breaches, WHSmith pleaded guilty. WHSmith have a duty of care to their customers to ensure that they are safe pursuant to the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.

WHSmith have stated that they have made necessary changes to their policies since the incident in order to prevent any further incidents in the future. They have taken steps such as keeping the basement locked and have also completed a risk assessment to provide reassurance to the public.

Councillor Patrick Berry stated that “One of our top priorities is the wellbeing of people in our borough, so I hope the size of this fine serves as a warning to all businesses.”

The company was fined £168,750 for each of the two counts of breaching health and safety laws at a sentencing hearing at Taunton Crown Court. It was also ordered to pay £135,492.66 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Here at SULAC we can provide you with any advice on injuries at work and how to bring a claim. Please call 01782 294800 for an appointment.


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